Hot on the heels of proposed legislation in New York that would ban encrypted smartphones that the manufacturer cannot decrypt, California is proposing a similar law. If this law passes, it will mean that Apple won’t be able to sell the iPhone in its own backyard. Ironic, no? The news comes to us via ZDNet.
California, despite its deep roots in technology, recently had a bill introduced into legislation that requires any smartphone built “on or after January 1, 2017, and sold in California, to be capable of being decrypted and unlocked by its manufacturer or its operating system provider.” Any smartphone that couldn’t be decrypted when requested would subject the seller to a $2,500 fine.
Apple has long held that it cannot bypass a user’s iPhone or iPad passcode, insisting it has no “back doors” to gain access to a user’s iOS device. If California’s bill becomes law, it would mean an almost complete ban on nearly every iPhone sold, along with many Android devices, throughout the state.
I get that state and federal government entities want to “protect us” from terrorists and other criminals. However, doing so at the expense of personal privacy on the part of innocent citizens should not, and cannot, be allowed, in this writer’s opinion. It doesn’t really matter that I don’t have anything to hide; it’s the principal of a government becoming too powerful that bothers me. I hope that California’s latest legislation, Assembly Bill 1681, dies a quick and painless death.