In a recent interview with the Huffington Post, FBI director James Comey says new iOS and Android privacy features put users 'above the law'. Comey recently discussed the matter with representatives from both Apple and Google, saying that while personal privacy is important, restricting access to sensitive information could be endangering the national security.
"I am a huge believer in the rule of law, but I am also a believer that no one in this country is above the law," Comey said. "What concerns me about this is companies marketing something expressly to allow people to place themselves above the law."
Comey's statement comes right after Apple's recent announcement that new security features in iOS 8 make it technically impossible for the company to decrypt on-device data, even if law enforcement agencies would request it. Here's what Apple said on a webpage dedicated to privacy policies.
"Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."
Google also said that it plans to make data encryption default in the upcoming release of Android L. Comey also commented on this
"Google is marketing their Android the same way: Buy our phone and law-enforcement, even with legal process, can never get access to it"
Comey also warned that the new policy could result in drastic repercussions for the public.
"There will come a day — well it comes every day in this business — when it will matter a great, great deal to the lives of people of all kinds that we be able to with judicial authorization gain access to a kidnapper's or a terrorist or a criminal's device
"I just want to make sure we have a good conversation in this country before that day comes. I'd hate to have people look at me and say, 'Well how come you can't save this kid,' 'how come you can't do this thing.'"
What's your opinion on this? Do you think Apple and Google's security measures are going to be a threat for our national security or they're doing a great job empowering individuals?