The Data Wars


A debate over law enforcement access to tech companies’ data has been raging. Just recently in a high profile dispute, Apple grappled with a court order asking it to help unlock an iPhone used by a terrorist. Apple refused, which led to a standoff with the United States government that was called off as the F.B.I. found an alternate way into the device. However this is not the end of story as the world gets more integrated in the technology space there is going to be future conflicts for user data as the Governments will like to have access to it and the tech companies will be using encryption techniques to protect users privacy.

Not only the US the case of Government wanting access into individuals data has been in news around the world. Only yesterday did the Brazilian Government banned the sue of What App, a popular Instant Messaging App impacting close to 100 million users who will be not be able to access it for 72 hours. The reason for such a drastic measure was Whats App’s rejection of the Judge’s order to share the data as the case, involves an organized crime and drug trafficking investigation in the court in Lagarto, in the northeastern state of Sergipe. The data war between the government and Facebook, owner of What App has reached to such an extent that in March Diego Dzodan, a Facebook executive, was briefly taken into custody for refusing to comply with orders to turn over Whats App information in the case.

It may be argued both in this case and the one about the Apple back home that giving out data will help in solving the cases related to terror and Drug trafficking but the problem is that once the Government has the key to break into the secured data, no data is safe anymore. It can be used to stoop at other people’s data all your private chat can be seen by a Big Boss. In a world where we exchange most of our details via messaging the fact that it is being breached makes one uncomfortable. As Edward Snowden showed that you cannot trust the Government either with the data for they are always want to spy on you and access to such data can be used to undermine one’s political enemies as well, thus For the larger good its better that our data continues to be encrypted and we must be thankful to private companies who are putting in some much effort to save our privacy when it should be the government who should be protecting us instead of invading it.