Apple Could Stop Selling iPhone in the UK if Government Passes Bill Banning Encryption
The UK government is trying to pass a bill that would ban strong end-to-end encryption that could force Apple to stop selling its iPhone in that country.
According to Forbes, the UK government plans to pass legislation that would prohibit the use of strong encryption, which means any encryption they can't break is not allowed. Since Apple has a great security, strong enough to not allow itself from seeing users' data, it could possibly stop selling its iPhone in UK.
Meanwhile, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales tweeted, "I would like to see Apple refuse to sell iPhone in UK if gov't bans end-to-end encryption. Does Parliament dare be that stupid?"
Home Secretary Theresa May published the full draft of the proposed law on Wednesday, according to the Independent. It will mandate tech companies to provide communications data when requested. This means the encryption on communications must somehow be breakable by these internet and technology companies. iPhone's iMessage will fall under this ban. According to Apple, it can't give data from iMessage to authorities since it has a strong encryption. The company already legalized this issue with the US authorities.
Daily Mail reported that Ministers have no plans to completely ban encryption because it is key in protecting banking information and personal data. The Home Secretary said the new law won't really ban encryption per se, since the process is important to all modern communications.
When it comes to Apple's profit, loosing UK may hurt, but it won't be that big of an effect for the giant tech company. Loosing Europe may be more serious, but UK won't be that much of a loss. Instead, loosing Apple would have a bigger effect on UK's economy than the country would have on the tech company. Apple has a lot of employees in UK and a lot of people get their jobs done using the device.