Public sentiment has shifted to the statistical middle of the road when it comes to the issue of privacy versus security. Namely, personal privacy versus national security.
A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll that surveyed 1,200 registered voters says that 47 percent of respondents worry the government isn’t going far enough in monitoring terror suspects’ communications. 44 percent are scared that government would go too far and violate citizens’ privacy. The poll has a margin of error of 2.83 percentage points up or down.
Here’s where the tipping point is: in the case of the court order forcing Apple to assist the FBI in unlocking the iPhone possessed by one of the San Bernardino mass shooters, 47 percent actually said that the company shouldn’t comply with the order, compared to the 42 percent saying it should.
A previous poll from Pew Research asked essentially the same privacy/security prompt from above and respondents favored more government action two-to-one over less action. The tide against Apple has turned as it has crusaded against having to develop a special version of iOS to allow the FBI to decrypt the phone without risk of wiping all data from the phone. The company says it poses a security risk to all of its customers and a dangerous anti-privacy precedent.