Round 3: Privacy concerns emerge after FBI breaks into iPhone

It looks like the FBI didn’t need Apple’s help after all.

The United States government has asked a federal judge to remove the dispute order over Apple after the FBI successfully bypassed the security encryption on an iPhone recovered from a domestic terrorist attack last winter.

The order has ended what was being anticipated as a long and arduous legal battle between one of the world’s leading technology brands, and the US Federal government. However, with this development has come a slew of implications regarding the state of online privacy.

After the FBI contracted out the development of the new bypassing software, it remains unclear as to what the new technology means to existing iPhone users. Has Pandora been let out of the box? We currently don’t know if unique software holds the capacity to only circumvent of the iPhone 5C (the model of the phone recovered from the scene), or later versions as well. In turn, the very existence of this software is threatening the integrity of Apple products– and personal electronics in general.

The LA Times reports that Apple is now hoping that the FBI will share the details on exactly how this software was developed, a measure that would ensure that Apple products can maintain the highest security standards in the industry. This development would surely be welcomed by consumers, but it remains unclear if the US Government will comply.

According to LA Times writer Dave Paresh:

Governments regularly develop or purchase hacking techniques for law enforcement and counterterrorism efforts, and put them to use without telling affected companies.

It seems that a major ethical dilemma has emerged, and the ball is in the US governments court: should technology companies be made aware of potential flaws and security in their products, specifically when major players like the US government are aware of them? To what extent does the government owe its citizens, many of whom are consumers of this technology, the highest standards of personal security? Should the government leave these channels open, and technologies flawed, in the name of national security? We would love to hear your thoughts!

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