Both Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) have beefed up the security on their operating systems and the companies claim that now even they themselves cannot access the data of their consumers. However, this has some serious implications for the law enforcement agencies in carrying out kidnapping and terrorist related investigations.
On CNBC, Edmund Hartnett, of Bronson Risk Consultants and former NYPD Deputy Chief revealed some of the concerns that Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) have raised in the wake of their higher security algorithms. He criticized the tech giants for costing such investigations in terms of precious time.
“[..] I think that companies like Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) and Android [Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s operating system], and maybe others are touting privacy, but I think it is more about profit. This can only obstruct investigations, terrorist investigations, criminal investigations, where time is of the essence. If this was a money laundering case or insider trading case, time is really not a factor. In something like kidnappings, terrorism etc. minutes count and lives are lost because of time delay […],” remarked Hartnett.
It should be duly noted that any data that is sent to or from the phone is not subject to the same amount of protection, or any protection for that matter from the law enforcement bodies. New security algorithms of Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) and Apple Inc.(NASDAQ:AAPL) only protect the data that is already on the device such as pictures, notes, documents etc.
The law enforcement bodies will have to be more specific and provide numbers in relation to investigations, where personal data has been helpful in thwarting terrorist or kidnapping cases, rather than delving on the hypothetical and force users to give up their privacy.
Hartnett also commented on the exact law that was passed during Bill Clinton’s tenure and according to him needs to be updated.
“[..] The law he is talking about, the mid 90s, the Calea Act,[Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act] enabled law enforcement to get into the communication devices in a much easier way. That law needs to be updated now to include smart phones […],” said Hartnett.
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