Apple privacy officer says that ‘building back doors’ to access iPhone data won’t help solve crimes


At last year’s CES tech trade show in Las Vegas, Apple attracted a lot of attention because of a large well-placed billboard ad that read, “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone.”

This year, Apple made its first official appearance at the conference in years and was forced to defend that position. Jane Horvath, Apple’s senior director of global privacy, was on a panel on Tuesday alongside representatives from Facebook, Procter & Gamble and the Federal Trade Commission, and was asked about the company’s use of encryption.

Horvath said that Apple has a team working around the clock to respond to requests from law enforcement. But she said she doesn’t support building so-called back doors into software that would allow law enforcement elevated access to private data to solve crimes like terrorism.

“Building back doors into encryption is not the way we are going to solve those issues,” Horvath said.

This appearance has been touted as “Apple returns to CES!” but it’s all hype. Not what Horvath said but the seeming importance so many in the tech media seemed to place on her panel showing.