The latest technology used by Apple and Google to meet consumers’ demands on securing private data is hitting a nerve with the Department of Justice.
In a meeting last month with Apple executives, the No. 2 official at the Justice Department said the company’s new encryption technology that locks out law enforcement would lead to a tragedy, The Wall Street Journal reported. A child would die and the police would not be able to search the suspect’s phone, the official allegedly said.
Apple executives called the comments “inflammatory” and they told the government it could get the information from other sources, like telecommunication companies, leading to a standoff between Apple and the DOJ.
Law enforcement officials have said the new technology would make it harder for them to search phones for text messages, pictures and contacts. Apple would not have the key to decipher the information on the phone either, the Journal reports.
Apple’s iMessage service also encrypts data from “end-to-end,” but some experts say Apple’s program has technical features that may leave it vulnerable to determined snooping.