Apple could receive hefty fines for not handing over data in France


That's a whole lot of euros.
Photo: Godzimama

France’s lower house of parliament has passed an amendment which could see Apple charged heavy fines, and even handed out jail time, if it fails to hand over encrypted data as part of government investigations.

The amendment affects both tech and telecoms companies. The punishment could reach up to €350,000 ($385,000) and five years in jail, although a proposed amendment asking the French government to hand out fines of €1 million was rejected.

The bill was first proposed by center-right politician Philippe Goujon. Speaking to the National Assembly yesterday, Goujon called the approved amendment a “realistic sanction” and argued that it correctly identifies the, “the criminal responsibility of encryption key makers who refuse to cooperate” with intelligence agencies.

The socialist party of French President François Hollande was opposed to the amendment.

Apple is currently locked in a battle with the FBI over whether it should be forced to create a backdoor to unlock the iPhone belonging to one of the suspected terrorists in last year’s San Bernardino shooting. Despite the seemingly insurmountable odds it’s up against, however, Apple’s pro-privacy stance appears to be winning — with a recent Congressional hearing with both Apple’s chief attorney and FBI director James Comey going in Apple’s favor.

Yesterday, United Nations Special Rapporteur David Kaye sided with Apple, too — arguing that encryption is “fundamental to the exercise of freedom of opinion and expression in the digital age,” and slamming the FBI’s demands as unnecessary.

Come on, France: wise up!

Via: The Verge


  • johnnygoodface

    I’m ashamed to be French… Fortunatly I come from Québec, not France!… Shame on you “France’s lower house of parliament” for showing that you don’t understand what’s really at stake here! And of course this new law will apply not only to Apple, but to all other phone makers as well!

    • TeeJay2000

      Wouldn’t that make you Canadian? .. Perhaps you should make your views known there.
      Regardless, it appears that French politicians are no better than US.

      • TrueNorth_Steve

        TeeJay, the province of Quebec thinks they are a country forgive them, they don’t know better.

    • TomV

      France has a weak economy, high unemployment and it’s useless socialistic government, they need every € they can get :)
      Nothing for you personally to be ashamed of !

  • Undivided

    Nothing’s at stake here. For the love of god man, the precedent being set here by Apple is that they will protect terrorists. They are handing terrorists a platform in which to hide. Thank you France for understanding that national security is a priority.

    • DCJ001

      Apparently, you do not mind that I now know your name, date of birth, social security number, mother’s maiden name, I have access to pictures of you, and I have access to the camera’s on your phone at any time.

    • Nem Wan

      Apple is right. Encryption security requires that no one but the data’s owner has access to the keys. I’m not willing accept the risks of backdoored encryption any more than you seem willing to accept the risk of non-backdoored encryption. My belief is that most dangerous acts require physical preparation and conspiracy in the real world and that can be detected in the real world. Data by itself can’t kill anyone. As most governments acknowledge a right not to incriminate oneself or be tortured, we accept that even under extreme circumstances government can never be trusted with power to get every bit of information they want.

    • TomV

      What do you mean by
      “They are handing terrorists a platform in which to hide.”

      “France for understanding that national security is a priority. ”
      That’s a joke, isn’t it ! France with it’s lawless banlieues and it’s 50 year long failed immigration politic.