Apple, this is the most common and most reputed organisation present in the world which are manufacturing mobile devices for the recent past. Being one of the most reputed organisation in the world it follows a strict set of rules and regulation. One of the rule is the privacy concern of the I-phones and the customers. According to Apple the data that are stored in the mobile devices and cloud system servers of the customers cannot be accessed without the permission of the customer (Agrawal et al.). This policy of the organisation is creating some of the major problems for the USA government as it is restricting them to analyse the data of the criminals and guilty persons.
Some of the major questions arrived while the FBI and the police team interrogated about the police to the Apple team of management.
Some of the Major Questions that arrived were:
- If there any criminal activity or threat to the nation information present in the device, and the user is not alive to open the device, why apple would not provide the permission to use the same to the police.
- Why Apple does not have flexible law for the law enforcement agencies.
The aim of this paper is to understand the case apple its laws in order to make a difference among the people.
- Understand the security polies of the organisation.
- Ethical consideration of these policies
Apple being one of the most technologically advanced organisation in the world is having some of the major set of the rules and regulation in the organisation. These laws protect the devices that the organisation makes from any type of technical threats. According to the organisation, an apple device when register by a customer then apart from the customer no other person can open the device and if there is any case of the forgetting of the password of the system and the cloud server apple will run security checks and check the authenticity of the request and if and only if the registered person makes the required apple may or may not unlock the device (Arocha et al). But this policy of the organisation have some serious issues according to the US Law Agencies. This came into highlight after the San Bernardino attack in the year of the 2015. The accused used an iphone8 which was recovered by the FBI after they encountered the attacker in which the attacker died.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation wanted to unlock the device that was used by the attack but Apple did not responded to the calls of the FBI as the user was dead. This was one of the major violation to the policies of the organisation. While the FBI suspected there may be information related to the security leaks of the United States of thee America. This became one of the major threats to the country and became a point of the debate for the researchers and head of the country (Avi-Yonah et al). The major ethical dilemma in this situation that came up was that as per the policy of the organisation it must not provide any information to anyone other than the retired person, but the case came to light when FBI wanted to know the information about the device (Diehl et al). The technical problem that came up to the FBI department was that if it tried to force fully retrieve the information from the device according to the policy of the organisation the data would automatically erase from the servers and not even Apple would be able to retrieve it further. This became one of the major problem in for FBI to crack down the case. Till the organisation have registered a case against the organisation and wanted the court to solve the case (Braziel et al). Civic adjudicators asked the technology giant Apple to assist the FBI to unlock the iPhone that belonged to Syed Farook, who was accused for the shootings in San Bernardino in December leaving 14 people lifeless (Wash et al).Further till then many of other cases like this came into lime light there were number of cases where the Apple users are dead or in a state where the verification cannot be done and the organisation have seized the devise.
The judges requested Apple to deliver judicious technical support to U.S.A establishments, which might involve the giant to refurbishment the organization that restricts the phone after 10 unproductive password efforts (Sergeevich et al). Once this property kicks in, all records present on the phone becomes inaccessible (Fagan et al). Apple waned to help the FBI. Although other major ethical situation when the court ruled against apple and wanted the organisation to unlock the device. Many of the activist of the country wanted the court toke back the order as this would harm rights of the customers.
The technical assistance that the court ordered to provide were as follows:
- The organisation will help the FBI to bypass or disable the auto-erase function (Sanchirico et al). Thus FBI would gather more information about the system of the attacker.
- The organization would allow the FBI to defer to passwords to the focus device for testing automatically via the physical device port like the Bluetooth other protocols obtainable.
- The organisation would make sure that while the agency acquiesces passwords to the issue device, the software that is operating on the device will not decisively announce any supplementary stay between passwords attempts.
Other than this several other outcome of this came up to be later several new storesd exposed that there have been frequent requests from law implementation organizations across the world for Apple to help unlock other iPhones (Garcia et al). This became one of the major problems for the organisation to approve all the request that were made by the number of the peoples that came to unlock the devices (Scott et al). Further in response to this apple CEO Tim Cook, the CEo of the organisation stated that “The government of the United States has requested to Apple for taking an underrepresented step of unlocking the apple devices, but the organisation is hesitating to take the step as it would threaten the security of the customers, hence the people across the world must co-operate and understand the severity of the situation”.
As per many of the peoples this would lead serious security issues in the devices as the LAW agencies can implant software in the devices under the apple server which can lead serious problems for the user (Otte , Stephen ). The government can also track the user details using the flaws of the devices.
Later by the year FBI said to the public that they have successfully unlocked the device of the attacker using a third party organization. And there are flaws in the devices of the apple. The customers’ reaction in all these were terrible as others can also unlock the devices using the same flaw. IN return Apple rolled out statements that this have can only be accessed in the devices of the Iphone5 Series as the models lacks the Touch ID sensor. Apple also said that the tool used for the hack costs over $1.3 billion and hence cannot be purchased by common people.
In order to make a proper research in this context, quantitative assessment of the Apple store managers and some of the customers were done. The process was through serving the question and answers and see if they agree to the order of the law. This process was done in order to bring out a better result of the research and the purpose of the study.
Some of the major limitations of the study came out to be less information about the court room conversation as some conversation and decisions were never made public and no one would have ever accessed it. Further the steps that were taken by the organization in ensuring proper security to the devices were also not properly analysed.
The situation of this case were a very serious ethical issue for the consumers of the Apple, as for the public both the personal and the country security is important. If the people wanted to hand over the devices for the purpose of the state then there were chances for the hackers to use information stored in the devices against them. Also of the does not hand over hand over the information the country can block the organisation from operating as it can become a threat to the nation.
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