Does justice trump privacy?

Privacy vs justice. For most of us, it is a complex topic, steeped in ethics and morality. 
More specifically, the question we’re are asking ourselves is, ‘should authorities have the right to snoop in your phone if they have a think it might help them solve a serious case, like murder?’ 
One the one hand, saying a phone should be accessible only to those in possession of its password is easy. But when you consider specific cases, the argument’s clarity murks up considerably.
Consider the following story. 
The New York Times ran a story on Monday that talked about a father of six who was found shot dead outside Chicago in June. 
There were no witnesses or surveillance footage, but two password-protected  smart phones were found near the body of the murdered father: an iPhone 6 running iOS 8 and a Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge running Android.
The state judge ordered the phone manufacturers’ Apple and Google to unlock them for the authorities, but the tech giants both replied that they could not because they did not have the password. 
The article’s authors - a Manhattan district attorney and a Paris chief prosecutor - say that 74 iPhones between October and June could not be accessed by investigators for the Manhattan district attorney’s office, despite them having judicial warrants to search these devices. 
The overall message from the piece is clear: information security implementations, like encryption and passwords, are negatively impacting justice. In other words, Apple and Google have introduced technologies that make more difficult for authorities to protect its citizens. 
“Full-disk encryption significantly limits our capacity to investigate these crimes and severely undermines our efficiency in the fight against terrorism. Why should we permit criminal activity to thrive in a medium unavailable to law enforcement? To investigate these cases without smartphone data is to proceed with one hand tied behind our backs.”
So the question for us to consider is fundamental and is likely to become more acute as technology continues to play an growing part in how we communicate with one another. 
Does justice trump privacy? 

Debate the issues at our upcoming events. 
Our invitation-only events are almost at capacity. Book now to network with senior security decision makers at our upcoming events: 
Carole Theriault - Tick Tock Social
AKJ Associates Consultant

Tags: security passwords encryption Law authorities smart phones justice privacy
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