UK data group criticises Apple's refusal to hack into killer's iPhone

The CEO of one of the UK's largest data owners has questioned Apple's right to put an individual's privacy above that of an entire nation.

Apple is resisting the FBI's request to hack into the iPhone of Syed Farook, who, along with his wife, killed 14 people at a community centre in San Bernardino, California, last year. 

Mark Roy, chairman of UK consumer data and insight group REaD, spoke out in a letter in today's City AM newspaper.

Roy wrote: "If a government agency comes to us with the appropriate judicial authority, who are we to insist on an individual's privacy? And, in this case, who is Apple to declare that the privacy of a single customer comes above the security of an entire nation?"

Apple CEO Tim Cook told employees in a memo yesterday morning that "the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people" is at stake in the company’s standoff with the FBI.

In the memo, obtained by BuzzFeed, Cook said: "This case is about much more than a single phone or a single investigation, so when we received the government’s order, we knew we had to speak out. 

"At stake is the data security of hundreds of millions of law-abiding people, and setting a dangerous precedent that threatens everyone’s civil liberties."


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