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Encryption And Security Debate Important For The Nation

Here’s Gary Shapiro’s take, as president/CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), on the government abandoning its court request to force Apple to circumvent its own security features on an iPhone.

While it is unfortunate this issue arose as part of an adversarial court process, the government decision to abandon its lawsuit compelling Apple to create security-defeating software is a preferable outcome to a wide-reaching court decision.

As Americans, we want every tool in the fight against terrorism, but we also want our privacy, and many in the technology and national security industry worlds believe that secure devices are an important weapon against terrorism.

Technology companies will help fight the battle against terrorism through innovation. They will develop predictive analytics combined with sensing devices that smell explosives and measure biometrics including voice, facial and other indicators of emotion or intent. They will create new tools, applications and measures which keep us all safe.

What they are reluctant to do is allow any government, friend or foe, to have unfettered tools, easily transferable and obtainable by bad actors, to the most private of interactions Americans believe they have and certainly want.

The national discussion on the balance between privacy and security can and must continue. We look forward to working with law enforcement, Congress and our members to discuss the appropriate tradeoffs in this critical balance.

Gary Shapiro is president/CEO of the Consumer Technology Association (CTA).