In a new Apple ad, a man on a city bus announces he has just shopped for divorce lawyers. Then a woman recites her credit card number through a megaphone in a park. “Some things shouldn’t be shared,” the ad says, “iPhone helps keep it that way.”
Apple has built complex encryption into iPhones and made the devices’ security central to its marketing pitch.
That, in turn, has angered law enforcement. Officials from the F.B.I. director to rural sheriffs have argued that encrypted phones stifle their work to catch and convict dangerous criminals. They have tried to force Apple and Google to unlock suspects’ phones, but the companies say they can’t. In response, the authorities have put their own marketing spin on the problem. Law enforcement, they say, is “going dark.”
Yet new data reveals a twist to the encryption debate that undercuts both sides: Law enforcement officials across the nation regularly break into encrypted smartphones.
With more tools in their arsenal to unlock phones, the authorities have used them in an increasing range of cases, from homicides to shoplifting https://t.co/mKNHsDGc2T
— NYT Business (@nytimesbusiness) October 21, 2020