Is the Customer Always Right?

Editorial

Research by Pew suggests that perhaps Apple may be putting itself against consumers as well as the government

Pew, a research firm, has conducted a survey regarding the ongoing conflict between Apple and FBI regarding the unlocking of an iPhone belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters from December last year. Its findings have revealed that 51% of people think Apple should comply with the FBI’s request to unlock the device, as opposed to 38% who believed that the tech giant should not, and 11% remained undecided.

This revelation adds an interesting twist to the debate. For those who have argued that Apple’s refusal of the FBI’s request is a self-minded marketing ploy, these numbers fail to support that idea. It appears that in this instance consumers prefer to have security, or at least the aiding of a terrorist investigation, prevail over the preservation of privacy.

The roots of this incentive likely stems from the 9/11 attacks and the proceeding fear of terrorism on American soil which scares the nation and has driven consumers to favor security over privacy when it comes to matters regarding terrorism. However, where Apple may accept that may be the case, its dismissal of the FBI may be representative of its greater concern of cybersecurity, which may, in its own way, be more detrimental to overall national security than refusing to provide the means to access data on a locked device in one specific case.