Is It Ok to Give Up Privacy for Security?

A response to the recent dilemma facing Apple.  

By Henry Adeleye on February 19, 2016 


If you could be guaranteed safety by giving up your privacy, would you do it?  That is the question Apple and CEO Tim Cook are facing.  While previously cooperating in any way they could with the San Bernardino case, the FBI has now asked them to create a "back door" to the iPhone operating system in order to allow them greater access into a phone found on the scene.  While we're all sure the FBI has the best intentions in mind, this opens up the possibility that any phone can be accessed more easily by hackers and other people with malintent.  


In an open letter, Cook describes the situation and calls for a discussion on the matter, referring to the request for the back door as a "dangerous precedent".  And it is.  With great freedom comes great risk.  It's pretty hard to have one without the other.  And with that risk, bad things can and sometimes will happen.  It would be great if we never had to worry about bad things occurring, but that's not something worth giving up your freedoms for.

The thought of going through life unchallenged and unthreatened is admittedly very appealing.  The world would be a much better place if we didn't have to live with the terrors that plague it.  But to give up the right to privacy in exchange for the possibility of utopia just isn't worth it.  Freedom is the guarantee of privacy even when you're doing stuff you have no business doing.  And that's to make sure that people who are doing what they should be doing get to keep that right as well.   


To be clear, there should be no sympathy for acts of terrorism.  And everything should be done legally and within reason to thwart those acts.  It's just a matter of where we draw the line between freedom and safety, and frankly, who gets to draw that line.  Hopefully, this can lead to a greater discussion.