New York recently pushed an anti-encryption bill that will potentially require phone manufacturer to leave backdoor entrace into encrypted and locked phones. As California follows suit, Apple’s revenue might decrease, if not completely halt in its home turf.
Mere weeks after New York decides its best to allow the government decrypt phones upon request, California follows with an almost exact replice of the bill, further employing a $2500 fee for each smartphone that is not equipped with decryption loopholes serving the interests of the state.
Considering the increased encryption updates that both Apple and Google have followed in the recent years, this might strongly affect sales for both the tech giants, but the issue at hand is much bigger in concept than a simple drop in revenue. It’s about the increasingly decreasing levels of privacy in this modern technologically-dominated world.
The argument of the state and the government is tied to past crimes that have hindered further investigations due to problems with decrypting the smartphones owned by criminals and mob groups, an argument which seems strong when standing by itself.
On the other hand, the increasing cyber threats in the digital world suggest privacy is being violated whether we like it or not, which is all the more reason to increase encryption power on any phone. Not to mention the occassional distrust in one’s own government, this might become a highly controversial issue in the near future should such bills uphold, or worse, spread.
Taking into account Apple’s, Google’s, and many other tech giants California-based location in Silicon Valley as well as their domination in the smartphone market, it might be all too easy for them to boycott selling their smartphones in the home city California. However, whether the issue will escalate, or if the tech industry will have to give in to decreased privacy remains to be seen. One thing is for sure; no one likes invasions of privacy.