The FBI admitted that they error locked the San Bernadino iPhone, thereby eliminating any chance of recovering the encrypted data that was on it. Naturally, that hurt their case against Apple just a wee bit, but the tech giant isn’t out of the water just yet.
That said, Apple have taken this case to heart and decided to move forward with developing new security measures that would make the iPhone even more difficult to crack. These upgrades would “prevent the governments or federal enforcements from using passcode bypassing techniques to access iPhones or any iOS devices in the future.”
Basically, this means that not even Apple would be able to intercept customer data regardless of what’s encrypted by said data. This move by Apple is a bit of a contingency plan. Should they lose their battle with the FBI they’d have to unlock upwards of 12 devices, save for the one in New York, and that number could grow expontially if the FBI does win. However, these new security measures would be uncrackable by law enforcement agencies and would likely result in another cycle of court cases.
“We are in for an arms race unless and until Congress decides to clarify who has what obligations in situations like this,” said Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.
It’s an arms race for information and that’s why this court case with the FBI is so important. Knowledge and information are the most powerful weapons on the planet, and acting on the incorrect information could lead to unforeseen consequences. Apple have made it clear that they’re going to fight to the death to stop a backdoor from being made, and will even lock themselves out of this door if necessary.
In fact, Tim Cook’s open letter to Apple customers reiterated that rhetoric.
“We have even put that data out of our own reach, because we believe the contents of your iPhone are none of our business.”
Now, here’s the thing about making a potentially unhackable iPhone, which is truly impossible because someone will come up with a way to crack it. Apple sell to consumers, and consumers want the latest technology with the fastest speeds and best functionality. Increasing security features generally makes the product slower, and it’s tough to sell a negative. What’s more, trying to tell someone that they’re gonna lose all of the data on their device (pictures, movies etc.) because they forgot their password is an even tougher sell.
At the end of the day, Apple sells to the public and they won’t do something that makes their products substandard in the public’s eye and their own. It’s gonna be interesting to see exactly how they go about strengthening their product, but I have a feeling that this will only happen to the extent they say if they lose in court to the FBI.