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Cellebrite Executive Says iPhone Unlocking is for the ‘Welfare of the Public’

Cellebrite Executive Says iPhone Unlocking is for the ‘Welfare of the Public’

Cellebrite chief marketing officer Jeremy Nazarian says the company’s device unlocking services are offered to law enforcement agencies for the welfare of the public, and are not a threat to the privacy of iPhone users in general.

Cellebrite Executive Says iPhone Unlocking is for the 'Welfare of the Public'

AppleInsider:

“There’s a public safety imperative here,” chief marketing officer Jeremy Nazarian tells Forbes, claiming the firm’s capabilities are useful to help against “major public threats in any community,” such as homicides, crimes against children, and drug-related gang activity. 

In the interview, Nazarian didn’t provide details on how Cellebrite was able to access Apple’s latest iPhone 8 and iPhone X, a service the company has recently started offering to law enforcement agencies. The company refuses to release details on the process, due to fears it would aid Apple’s engineers in plugging the security holes used by Cellebrite, which would force the Israeli security firm to come up with new methods.

“We feel an obligation to those serving the public safety mission to ensure those capabilities are preserved, to the extent that they can be,” Nazarian states in defense.

Nazarian also attempted to allay the fears of those who believe the tools and services that Cellebrite provides to law enforcement could also be used in illegal ways.

“It’s not like this is over the wire listening technology… it requires physical access. It’s not like anyone is listening to your iPhone or my iPhone,” advises Nazarian. “There’s nothing inherent in the technology that means it’s open to misuse.” 

Cellebrite reportedly saw a 28% year-on-year increase in revenue in the fourth quarter of 2017 over the same period in 2016. The increase in revenue is likely due to the security firm’s higher profile after it was reported that the FBI used the company’s technology to unlock the iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters in 2016.

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