As technology becomes an increasingly significant presence in our everyday lives, many are beginning to express concern regarding privacy in this digital age. In the years that have followed the first globalized usage of the internet, there have been numerous instances in which individuals’ privacy and personal security has fallen by the wayside. Most notably in instances such as the NSA’s telephone interception program, “MYSTIC”. The nationwide controversy that stemmed from the extensive use of this wire-tapping software has since forced many Americans to consider the feasibility of swapping personal privacy for government supervision and eventual security.
This issue has since resurfaced during the aftermath of the recent San Bernardino terrorist attacks, when the US government demanded that Apple assist in the investigation by unlocking one of the alleged terrorist’s iPhone. Not only did they demand access for this specific case, the government demanded that they be given access via backdoor program so that they could access any device at any time they wish. While this instance is extraneous, demands made by the government to access personal information that is stored on a privately owned server sets a dangerous precedent for the way in which personal data is stored and secured on a large scale. By permitting the government access to mass quantities of secure data, private corporations are jeopardizing the integrity of individuals’ personal information. By allowing this distinctly unethical invasion of privacy to continue, those who use the internet in any capacity, are forgoing their ability to retain personal information. While it is important that we continue to strive for national security and the safety of all US citizens, to enforce the surveillance and monitoring of personal data would not only be an invasion of privacy, but a gateway into widespread prevalence of identity theft and the misuse of such data. While such instances of identity theft are not at all unusual, granting the government access to personal data in such an unrestricted manner would only serve to endanger the personal privacy and personal security of the many Americans who use Apple devices.