Strong encryption provides privacy and security for everyone online. We can’t have private conversations, or safe transactions, without it. Encryption is critical to democratic politics and reliable economic transactions around the world. When a company rolls back its existing commitments to encryption, that’s a bad sign.
In August, Apple made a startling announcement: the company would be installing scanning software on all of its devices, which would inspect users’ private photos in iCloud and iMessage.
This scanning software, intended to protect children online, effectively abandoned Apple’s once-famous commitment to security and privacy. Apple has historically been a champion of encryption, a feature that would have been undermined by its proposed scanning software. But after years of pressure from law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and abroad, it appears that Apple was ready to cave and provide a backdoor to users’ private data, at least when it comes to photos stored on their phones.