The legal fight between the FBI and Apple might have ended for now but it did spark debate on users’ privacy and safety of their data. Apple held its ground and said that it wouldn’t create a backdoor that would set a precedent where a government comes in and demands that the company provide access to user data.
FBI pushed back but eventually it was able to seek outside help to crack one particular iPhone. This led to fears that perhaps the same method can be used on other iPhones as well but the bureau’s director says that’s not the case.
The iPhone that the FBI and Apple were sparring over belonged to the San Bernardino shooter, it was an iPhone 5c, and FBI director James Comey that their method only applies to “a narrow slice of phones.”
Speaking to a group of students at the Kenyon College in Ohio, Comey said that the FBI had purchased a tool from a third party that enabled it to unlock the iPhone 5c at the center of its investigation.
He didn’t reveal how the tool was used to access the iPhone but did say that the tool doesn’t work on iPhone 6S and that it doesn’t work on the iPhone 5S. Comey discussed Apple’s request that the FBI share its method but the bureau hasn’t made up its mind yet.
“We tell Apple, then they’re going to fix it, then we’re back where we started from,” he said. “We may end up there, we just haven’t decided yet,” he said.