iPhone security VS Texas shooter investigation

Could Apple releasing information affect your privacy and your iPhone?

TAMPA — Texas Rangers have hit Apple with a search warrant for data on the Sutherland Springs gunman's phone.

Investigators are trying to access Devin Kelley's iCloud and actual iPhone.

Apple's policies say it will share iCloud data with police if there's a valid warrant -- but the company has refused to directly access devices.

This is about encryption - technology that keeps your data safe and private.

Apple says making software to break into its own phones would put everyone's data at risk.

10News sat down with a cybersecurity expert to explain what's at stake for you.    

Right now, it's really hard to break into an iPhone if you don't have the passcode.

Cybersecurity expert Jeremy Rasmussen knows because he and his team have tried.

“They have locked that down so much that it is not possible,” Rasmussen said. “The only person that is able to unlock the phone is the owner of that phone who knows the passcode.”

Even Apple says it can't do it.

But should Apple have to make a flaw in its security for police?

After someone commits a heinous act, investigators have to figure out why. They want communications and information stored on the phone.

But Rasmussen says that opens up a Pandora's box that could put everyone, every business at risk.

“So it's not just an Apple issue. It's an everyone who uses an Apple device issue. From a business standpoint, from a privacy standpoint, from a national security standpoint. There's a lot of issues involved there,” he said.

He says for Apple to unlock the Texas shooter's iPhone, it would have to create a flaw in security that would open ANYONE's iPhone.

“A universal backdoor key would be kind of the world's most powerful zero-day attack,” Rasmussen said. “It would be something that everyone would want to get their hands on. Every government agency would want that to be able to unlock, what, potentially a billion phones that are out there and being used.

“Think about how much sensitive data you have on your mobile device these days. Contacts, pictures, text messages, email. Stored passwords for all of your bank accounts and email accounts and so forth. So, there's a very rich amount of data on this device. And all of that is essentially laid bare if somebody has a backdoor to it.”
 

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