Sunday, September 28, 2014

iOS 8... Not So Great?

I, along with many others, recently updated my iPhone software to iOS 8, which came out with the release of the iPhone 6.  At the time, I did not think twice about updating, but little did I know that this software would cause such controversy and could ultimately help criminals get away with serious crimes.

In the past, both Apple and the NSA (National Security Agency) were able to access to data from one's phone, such as one's messages, emails, contacts, location and call history; however, with iOS 8, Apple is unable to release this information even if they wanted to.  The software is much more complicated.  Previously, NSA was able to decode the details of the phone user and get information, but now the information encrypted in a code unique to each user that is far too complex to be decoded.  Apple did not intend for this to happen... it just happened to be a byproduct of iOS 8.

The problem is our world is so reliant on technology that police have been using data from criminals' phones to gather information to either prevent the crime from occurring or proving that the criminal is guilty.  Before iOS 8, the NSA and police were able to track a criminal's location from his or her phone, allowing them to get to the location of the crime and arrest the lawbreaker.  If the event of terrorists were to enter, the police would have been able to monitor their phones and potentially stop them before a crime was committed.  Matt Blaze, a privacy advocate, tweeted, "If smartphone encryption prevents the police from solving crimes, how did they solve them before smartphones were invented? Anyone remember?"  While this seems logical, police in this era are so used to using technology, specifically smartphones, as a tool to solve crimes.  The police will still be able to solve them; however, without the NSA being able to track down data from their phones, it will become more difficult and less effective.

Now, people are worried that the iOS 8 software might be used to a criminal's advantage, such as a terrorist or kidnapper.  They could easily use this software as a tool to keep their plans secretive and hide all evidence that they committed the crime.  Apple refuses to comment on this issue.  There is no doubt that iOS 8 could potentially be used to a criminal's advantage.

What do you think about Apple creating a software with encryption abilities?  Is this much privacy be good, or will it prove to be a danger to our society?

1 comment:

  1. Claire –
    I believe that this privacy is good thing. We live in a society that is so centered around the dependency we hold on technology, even to resolve crimes. This shouldn’t be the case. We should be able to keep our personal information private from the NSA, instead of feeling like we are being constantly watched. Police forces should be able to solve crimes without invading people’s phones, as I believe citizens should have the right to this type of privacy. Therefore, ios8 is a step forward in providing consumers with the privacy they deserve. Even if the NSA no longer has the same access to using technology to solve catch criminals, they should be able to find a different way to keep people secure. That’s their job, anyway!