Apple’s legal battle with the US government over a locked iPhone has come to an end after the FBI managed to access the device without the US tech giant’s help.
The highly publicised court case saw the US tech giant refuse to help authorities break into an iPhone 5C relating to the San Bernardino shooting.
iPhone security glitch
In a court filing released Monday 28, the Justice Department stated that it enlisted the help of a third party to get through Apple’s security features and successfully break into the iPhone in question.
The US government has since withdrawn its court order against the manufacturer, stating that the technique used hack into the iPhone remains classified.
In the past Apple has been vocal about the importance of personal data, building its business on products well known for added security features.
Despite this the company has suffered a number of high profile glitches over the last year, with a number of celebrities affected by the iCloud hacking incident. The US government’s ability to now exploit and bypass iPhone security features will no doubt further impact on public perception of the brand.
While Apple will look to now patch up this glitch, reports from The Guardian said the Justice Department declined to say if the hacking method used would be shared with the tech brand, or kept by the FBI as an investigative method.
Privacy vs national security
The issue of accessing personal data has seen major businesses, including Google and Microsoft, wade into the debate on the balance of privacy and national security. Google supported Apple’s refusal to give up its customer's data while Microsoft took the side of the US government, claiming that tech companies should be forced to co-operate.
Apple CEO Tim Cook has previously warned of the dangers of putting a backdoor into iPhone devices. This is a sentiment that has been echoed by Phil Lee, data protection partner at European law firm Fieldfisher.
He said: ‘Apple's point is that building in security back doors to their products comes at the expense of everyone's privacy, and that's a principle that they're not prepared to concede. Silicon Valley companies have taken a public beating over recent years for not doing enough to protect their users' data, but Apple is taking a stand. At stake is not only the privacy of our communications, but whether Silicon Valley can restore the trust that it's lost.’