A top Apple executive had claimed that the company could be forced to spy on people through their iPhone camera and microphone if it complies with a government request.
The company has been ordered to unlock an iPhone 5c that was owned by one of the San Bernardino killers.
However Apple’s head of services, Eddy Cuey, has claimed that this could set a dangerous precedent that would allow for complete invasion of people’s lives, The Independent reports.
The government and FBI have said that Apple should unlock the phone just in this case. But Apple has argued that doing so would require them to make potentially dangerous software which could be used on other phones, as well as setting a dangerous legal precedent that would hand over power to the U.S. government.
Mr Cue said:
That same precedent could be used to break into phones and use them to spy on their owners, Someday they will want [Apple] to turn on [a user’s] camera or microphone. We can’t do that now, but what if we’re forced to do that?
Where will this stop? In a divorce case? In an immigration case? In a tax case? Some day, someone will be able to turn on a phone’s microphone. That should not happen in this country.Advertisement
A judge echoed Mr Cue’s comments earlier this month, claiming that the FBI would be able to monitor everybody’s entire lives if the order to unlock the phone was allowed to stand.
A number of prominent tech figures have argued that the FBI doesn’t need access to the phone in this case, but that it is pursuing the order because it will be able to use the powers in future situations.