The Tension Between National Security And Individual Privacy

1213 WordsOct 18, 20165 Pages
The Situation The tension between national security and individual privacy has long existed even before the development of digitized information. Recently, two main forces have advanced the debate over this balance to the forefront of the public eye: 1) the proliferation of data by private sector companies and 2) the heightened need for homeland security and public defense. With the rapid evolution of technology, companies have aggregated pools of consumer data to improve upon internal decision making. In some cases, however, this data can be leveraged to ensure national security and public safety. This juxtaposition of enterprise and security results in a blurring of the line dividing public and private sector responsibilities. The question becomes an issue of moral obligation versus legal responsibility. What are we as consumers and citizens willing to sacrifice in exchange for safety? And does the private sector inevitably succumb to obligations originating from the public sector? The company on the forefront of this issue is Apple. After the tragic events in San Bernardino, CA on December 2, 2015, the United States FBI located an iPhone 5C belonging to one of the terrorists. The FBI, however, was unable to access the phone and formally requested Apple to unlock the device to facilitate the search for information about the killers. Apple swiftly refused and after several weeks of back and forth, the FBI filed a case against Apple (Nakashima April 2016). This case
Open Document