Newest Smartphones have Police-Blocking Encryption

stop sign with hand as if to say NOBoth Android and Apple’s newest smart phones will now come with encryption intended to keep the users’ privacy intact, even during criminal investigations.

In June of this year, the Supreme Court ruled that phones can’t be searched without a warrant during arrests. The new encryption on these upcoming phones takes that step even further, making it nearly impossible for police to break into them even with search warrants.

There are differences between how different carriers are handling the encryption. Apple will have the capabilities to update the encryption on new iPhones and iPads as well as older models with the iOS8 update. Android devices will most likely have the new encryption on their newest devices after October. For suspects that have an Apple phone, much of their information can still be accessed through their iCloud accounts, which back up media for many iPhones and iPads, unless they choose to shut off data flow to the iCloud.

Privacy advocates are enthusiastic about Apple and Android’s decisions. After the Snowden revelations last year, many Americans are ever wary of a government that has access to an increasing amount of their personal privacy. However, some are asking if Americans’ right to privacy is more important than public safety. Many officers fear that crimes and injustices that can currently be solved with a search warrant will now go unsolved. Ronald Hosko, former head of the FBI’s criminal-investigations division, said the technology is “wonderful until it’s your kid who is kidnapped and being abused, and because of the technology, we can’t get to them.”

This could be an important development in the recurring discussion about privacy vs policing. What are your thoughts? Share them in the comments section at the bottom of this page.


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