Apple May Have to Stop iPhone Sales in UK if Government Bans Encryption
While creating the legislation, the government authorities and politicians often give in to their paranoia, especially when they’re dealing with things they don’t fully understand. Unfortunately, even the big companies like Apple are bound to follow these laws or leave the market. One such example of this behavior is the surveillance law presented by UK government, according to which Apple should remove encryption from its chat conversations so that the UK government can go through the private conversation of its people. It is already difficult to digest that kind of law that is actually being considered as it is, but there is more to this story. Let’s start from the beginning.
What the Fuss is all About?
UK government is trying to pass a law which requires Apple to provide the government a backdoor to the iMessages exchanged between the iPhone users. The law is all about removing the encryption on user data. The government claims that any encryption which cannot be broken down or decrypted by the government is prohibited. The government is of the view that communication channels should be kept open so that the terrorists, pedophiles, criminals and other people with bad intentions can easily be exposed.
How the Law affects Customers Security
The reason most of the people prefer iOS over Android is the extra layer of protection it offers. This law will remove the security layer by opening a backdoor to users’ data for the government. If this law is passed, then the government will get access to the chat conversations and messages sent and received on iPhone which is itself a violation of user privacy. The feeling that your private conversation is not private anymore is quite frightening for the iPhone users.
What Experts Say?
Markets experts highly condemn UK government for presenting this law. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia was the first one to suggest Apple to stop selling iPhone in the UK. He states that “I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if gov’t bans end-to-end encryption. Does Parliament dare be that stupid?” It is worth mentioning that most of the critics also find the purpose behind the law to be illogical while some of them considered it as misdirection. As mentioned above, the government claims that it is presenting this law to fight against terrorists when anyone with even a little technical know-how about internet and technology knows that terrorists and criminals can easily build their own systems and encrypt their chat conversations to avoid getting caught. UK citizens should speak up against the technology ignorant politicians and members of the government who are putting the security of their people at risk.
What Should Apple Do?
Apple, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat and all other companies encrypting the chats and messages are left with just two options. The first option is to accept the law and remove the encryption from chat, which obviously is not something these companies would prefer doing, as it is their repute, credibility, and customer’s trust that is at stake. The second option is to stop selling their products and services in the region. What UK’s government does not know is that Apple’s profit won’t decrease on ditching the UK market, but the country’s economy will definitely take a hit as the company hires a large number of local employees. Let’s assume for a minute that Apple agrees to remove the encryption. In this case, it will have to warn all its users about the security risks. This is because every iMessage sent to or received by a UK citizen will be checked by law and enforcement agencies. This and many other factors makes it more likely for Apple to stop selling iPhone in the UK, as it cannot compromise the security of all its customers just because of a law created by one country.