Thanks For The Customer Letter Tim Cook.
As a user experience research, design, and staffing shop it’s safe to say that we’re pretty big fans of the Apple team and all that they’ve created throughout the years. Their products and services have been instrumental to a lot of design’s more recent success. But after reading Tim Cook’s letter to all Apple customers, I wanted to make some things clear:
Yes, Apple is protecting its own ass.
Yes, Apple is trying to defend against unfettered access to data on devices it creates.
Yes, the FBI is trying to protect citizens of the United States (and the millions of tourists, students, foreign workers, and others that visit each year)
Yes, the FBI is trying to gain unfettered access to data on devices created by Apple (and any other device that can encrypt data).
Yes, it’s a slippery slope to an Orwellian nightmare
Yes, it’s our problem. Yours, mine, everyone’s.
No, we will not solve it. In fact, there’s nothing we are going do about it.
This is what over-adoption looks like. It’s a social force. Stronger than any other — technical, legal, commercial — nothing compares. However, although it’s not a problem that we can readily fix I do believe we can harness other forces to best combat these particular situations and that requires a better recognition of the people behind the screens.
In another Medium post, someone covers why Tim Cook is so furious and in the addendum they stressed that we’re all prone to being lazy and it’s the biggest enemy to our own security. But building in user touchpoints that allow added security with ease is part of why Apple has been a leader in creating amazing user experiences. Now what if we could further add security by leveraging technology for the better:
What if…your FitBit added another layer of encryption when in the same vicinity as your phone
What if…there was night table that backed up your phone wirelessly every night when you charged your phone
Security is going to continue to be an issue as more devices and the “Internet of Things” becomes more pervasive in our lives. The thing we have to remember as designers is to always keep the user in mind and create experiences that inherently leverage their socialness and connectedness to keep them safe.