FBI’s iPhone Crack Has Scared You Silly
The FBI’s ability to crack the San Bernardino attacker’s iPhone has scared Americans—and even caused some to question whether to buy an iPhone.
In a Fortune poll of more than 2,000 registered voters, 49% of respondents said that they were “more concerned” about the privacy of their data following the FBI’s iPhone crack. Just 14% of registered voters said that they were “less concerned.”
The Fortune poll was conducted by its polling partner Morning Consult. The poll was conducted between April 1 and April 3.
In addition to fears about privacy, registered voters questioned their next smartphone buying decision. In light of the recent crack, just 22% of respondents said they’d be “more likely” to buy an iPhone. Nearly a third of respondents said they’d be less likely to be an iPhone and 21% said they weren’t sure yet how the FBI crack would affect their buying behavior.
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The data comes after the FBI announced last month that it was able to crack the iPhone 5c used by San Bernardino attacker Syed Farook. The Justice Department had previously petitioned a magistrate judge to compel Apple to build software allowing law enforcement agents access to the iPhone. After Apple declined the request on the grounds of personal privacy, a war of words erupted.
Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook said that he was looking out for the best interests of his users and would take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Meanwhile, FBI Director James Comey argued that his agents were simply trying to do their jobs.
A day before Apple and the Justice Department were set to face off in a hearing, the agency revealed that, with help from an unidentified third party, it successfully cracked the iPhone and would no longer require Apple’s help. Several reports have since surfaced, saying the FBI is accessing other iPhones in different investigations.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department has shown no sign that it will offer Apple insight into how it cracked the device, leading some to worry about their data.
For Tim Cook’s take on Apple vs. FBI, watch:
The latest poll from Fortune and Morning Consult suggests concern over privacy varies by age. Over half of those between the ages of 18 and 29 are “more concerned” about their privacy following the FBI’s successful crack, compared to 43% of those 65 and older. The data also suggests that Democrats are more concerned than Republicans about their privacy in light of the FBI’s move. President Obama supporters also tend to be more concerned about their privacy, with 52% saying that the FBI crack worries them, compared to 48% of those who disapprove of the President.
Among prospective iPhone buyers, those between the ages of 18 and 29 are split over whether the FBI’s crack will make them more or less likely to buy an iPhone. However, older people tend to be far less likely to want to buy an iPhone. Indeed, just 18% of people between the ages of 45 and 54 say they’re more likely to buy an iPhone now that the FBI has cracked the device.
Politically, those who identify themselves as “liberal” are far more likely to buy an iPhone than “conservatives.” That follows a similar finding, which shows that a third of those who disapprove of President Obama are less likely to buy an iPhone now, compared to 29% of the President’s supporters.
One other tidbit: Democrat Hillary Clinton’s supporters are most likely to be concerned with their privacy, and Republican Donald Trump supporters are least likely to buy another iPhone, following the FBI-Apple kerfuffle.