Recently, FBI arrested a suspect in a mass shooting case in San Bernardino. Investigating the suspect’s equipment, FBI found his iPhone locked. It seemed sure that much significant information was recorded in the iPhone. Therefore, FBI requested Apple, the developer of iPhone, to disarm the security of the iPhone.
An iPhone equips a serious security option which can delete all of the data in the iPhone when the user entry wrong passwords ten times. FBI asked Apple to provide the software to disable this option externally.
However, Apple rejected the request of FBI.
The New York Times: Breaking Down Apple’s iPhone Fight With the U.S. Government
According to Apple, obeying the request will cause serious trouble in the future. It can endanger the privacy of vast users of Apple’s product.
Thus, Apple technically can salvage the data without the consent of the user, perhaps. But, if it is once approved, Apple will have to obey other requests by any other authorities.
In the present case, FBI can be facing a serious terror for the society. This issue looks like the matter “whether we approve the human right of a terrorist.” However, expanding the adaptation of this demand can be awful. For example, a dictator will make an arbitrary command for disclosing the data in the iPhone possessed by an activist. Apple cannot have a reason of refusal after legalizing the previous disarm.
Thus, this issue is similar to the deal of the personal information of a bank account. The Swiss bank has gained great trust because it keeps confidentiality of the consumers’ information strictly.
There is a relevant case of a lawsuit recently. In this case, FBI requested to disclose the information of a drug dealer. Apple refused to unlock the iPhone of the suspect. And the court judged that FBI’s order was not valid.
The Guardian: Apple case: judge rejects FBI request for access to drug dealer's iPhone
If you are a stationer and are ordered by the police to salvage a notebook of a terrorist who bought your notebook, you must say you are not responsible. If a consumer who bought a safety box from you is suffering because he lost the key, you will feel not responsible. What is the difference? As a principle, I support the policy of Apple, even if it can help some terrorists.
Digital record is far different from other materials. Its completeness and reproductiveness are sometimes troublesome.