As to the former, the list of security breaches just the past year makes me wonder if online security– credit cards, banking information, government data, or anything else– is a myth. Every week we’re treated to new headlines of a large corporation or a government branch being hacked and user data being stolen. Those are the ones we read about. These are from last year.
- VTech – 4.8-million records stolen
- 70-million prison phone records
- Trump Hotels – malware and hacked
- Ashely Madison – data for 37-million hacked
- Patreon – hacked and data downloaded
- Experian – 15-million T-Mobile customer data stolen
- Scrottrade – 4.6-million customers data stolen
- Excellus – 10-million health records stolen
- OPM Breach – 22.1-million records breached
This probably isn’t even enough to be considered the tip of the iceberg because many companies and agencies don’t want the bad publicity and cover up security breaches.
It’s looking more and more like the answer to my first question, “Can we ever be secure?” is a qualified ‘no.’ Alright, can Apple help to make us more secure from hackers, criminals, and rogue government agencies? The answer is a qualified ‘Yes’ but it seems as if authorities are intent upon making Apple kneel before their collective whims to become the whipping boy example of any company that dares to consider customers over the rule of their law, regardless of how flimsy it may appear.
I fear that along the way Apple will win a few battles but lose the war. My hope is that government officials will recognize that strong encryption is necessary for citizens, and that by taking it away from individuals, only terrorists, hackers, and criminals will have strong encryption to protect their dastardly deeds.
This isn’t exactly a scientific survey or the results of research, but in countries where guns, firearms, and weapons have been taken away, who still has them? Authorities. Military. Criminals. That may not be an Apple to apples comparison but it’s a plausible analogy to what is happening.
Online commerce requires strong encryption. Corporations and the government require strong encryption. What of a country’s citizens? Should we not have the same opportunities and privileges as those who would rule the country? If not, how can we monitor the monitors?
Now, back to Apple. If not Apple, who?