Government Mandates to Weaken Device Security

The following statement is attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™, formerly the Consumer Electronics Association (CUA)®, regarding government efforts to force Apple to circumvent security features on an iPhone to assist in a federal investigation:

“Our association and our entire industry stand united with the global community as we decry criminal and terrorist acts. Our member companies work tirelessly to help deter crime and fight terrorism by cooperating with law enforcement officials, building – and continually enhancing – security into their products, and processing legal orders and requests for content and information.

“With technology changing the ways we live our lives and contributing exponentially to our economy, consumers have come to rely on the security protections included in the devices and services they use every day for work, connection and entertainment. It is imperative the U.S. government prioritize citizens’ right to privacy as the amount of data we create, share and collect grows rapidly. Consumers should be able to trust that their personal data is legally protected, whether it’s stored or transmitted online or in their possession. That trust allows for continued innovation, which leads to economic growth and societal benefits.

“Government should not mandate that technology companies weaken security that has been developed to protect consumers, even when investigating crimes. Granting government such power could open a Pandora’s Box, setting a troubling precedent and weakening security standards that could be exploited by the very people the government seeks to protect our citizens from – terrorists, hackers and foreign governments.

“Our industry remains committed to providing law enforcement with user data in response to legal orders. But mandating a weakening of security standards will create vulnerabilities that could hurt all consumers and stifle innovation.”