Yesterday, we joined a host of technology companies filing in court to support Apple in its case against the FBI. Our message was simple: Security can’t come with an asterisk. Privacy and security controls with a backdoor aren’t controls at all.
Here’s how Tim Cook has explained the issue:
[T]he FBI wants us to make a new version of the iPhone operating system, circumventing several important security features, and install it on an iPhone recovered during the investigation. . . . The government suggests this tool could only be used once, on one phone. But that’s simply not true. Once created, the technique could be used over and over again, on any number of devices.
Like all the companies weighing in on this debate, we were shocked by the events in San Bernardino last December, and we mourn the loss of life. We honor and support the work of law enforcement in this case and in others; and we comply with valid subpoenas and search warrants.
But the order the government seeks in this case — compelling Apple to hack its own operating system, sign its name to the broken version, and then help use it or let it be used to crack previously secure data — is both dangerous and unprecedented.
At Mapbox, we’re focused every day on building highly secure, anonymous tools for processing location data. This allows us to build some amazing things — self-healing maps, powerful visualization and analytics tools for large geographic datasets, and more — while protecting the highly sensitive bits of information implicated by location data — things like where we live, our daily habits, and our network of friends and acquaintances.
Giving government a backdoor into these systems would fundamentally undermine the work our team is doing every day to secure and protect location data. Because privacy and security controls with a backdoor aren’t controls at all.