Today, the UK government is due to introduce a law that will require Apple, Google, Microsoft and other companies to hold a key to encrypted smartphones and services. By holding such a key, this would give government agencies access to devices when a warrant is issued.
For the past few years, Apple has been very forthright in its position on this topic. It has no ability to decrypt the security procedures it has in place. Apple has made it clear that it is unable to break through the encryption on its devices and that services like iMessage and FaceTime are encrypted from end-to-end.
The laws being pushed through by David Cameron will be at the detriment to enterprise mobility and the strides that have been made to secure devices and the data on them. Once the good guys are able to decrypt devices, the bad guys will also find a way to decrypt them.
Whilst we understand the need to be able to find information from devices in the event of criminal activity, we also believe in the importance of ensuring that data stored on devices is secure. Opening up a backdoor to devices that are meant to be highly secure will raise concerns for companies.
For companies, one big worry will be whether data stored on devices is truly secure. It calls into question if app developers will also be forced to hand over data or provide a back door to their systems and devices.
A huge advantage that companies have with iOS devices is the level of security that comes out of the box. Apple has worked extremely hard, pushing back on the US government to ensure that its devices have the highest levels of security.
It remains to be seen how much of an impact this law could have and what Apple’s response to the situation is.