U.S. senators Facebook and Apple officials over their encryption practices Tuesday and threatened to regulate the expertise unless the businesses make encrypted consumer data accessible to law enforcement.
At a U.S. Senate Judiciary Board hearing, Republicans and Dems offered a rare united front as they invoked youngster abuse and mass shooting cases in which encryption has barred access to crucial proof and obstructed investigations.
Facebook has been grappling with multiple governments since introducing its plan to extend end-to-end encryption throughout its messaging services earlier this year.
In October, U.S. Attorney General William and law enforcement leads of the U.K. and Australia called on the world’s largest social network not to proceed with its plan except law enforcement delegates are given backdoor access.
Facebook declined that call in a letter inked by Messenger head Stan Chudnovsky and WhatsApp chief Will Cathcart which it released along with the firm’s written declaration.
Apple exposed a legal fight over encryption in 2016 when the Fed Bureau of Investigation sought access to an iPhone held by a slain sympathizer of Islamic State in San Bernardino, California, who had killed county staff.
That stand helped support the company’s reputation for safeguarding user privacy, while Facebook has been pulled in a series of scandals in recent times over its handling of personal data.
In their deposition, Facebook’s messaging privacy head Jay Sullivan traded points with Apple privacy chief Erik Neuenschwander, and each suggesting legislators focus their investigation on the other firm’s business.
Sullivan repeatedly said that Facebook doesn’t build gadgets or operating systems, and advised the firm was open to “on-device scanning” proposals that might routinely identify matches for illegal content.