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Apple is known for valuing its customer’s privacy and security. Yet, a new bill in France could partially break it as it will allow authorities to spy on certain suspects by remotely enabling their smartphones’ microphones, cameras, or GPS.

The bill will also cover other connected devices, including laptops and even cars. This should help aid the police in tracking individuals who are considered terror offense suspects. It will also allow the recording and capturing these individuals’ voices and images, respectively.

The bill was passed Wednesday this week, with Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti saying the bill would only cover “dozens of cases a year.” However, privacy advocates are criticizing the bill. La Quadrature du Net, an advocacy group that promotes digital rights and freedoms for French citizens, says the provisions “raise serious concerns over infringements of fundamental liberties,” stressing the need for the “right to security, right to a private life and to private correspondence” and “the right to come and go freely.”

In addition to the Minister of Justice’s statement, members of parliament introduced an amendment to narrow down the conditions on where the bill will be applied, saying a judge must first approve it and that it could only be employed for a maximum of six months. Moreover, according to the French Parliament, the act will only be used “when justified by the nature and seriousness of the crime” and “for a strictly proportional duration.” It is also said that it won’t apply to certain professionals, including judges, journalists, lawyers, doctors, and more.

For the rest of the French population, nonetheless, the bill will be observed, regardless of the security and privacy features of their devices. That includes iPhones. And given that iPhone 14 Pro was the best-selling phone in France in April, it should affect a huge number of Apple customers in the country. With this, different speculations are now surfacing about what Apple’s next move will be in response to the bill.

“Apple in the past has been willing to fight governments to protect user privacy,” said one Reddit user. “Let’s see how they respond here.”

“France is getting out over their skis with all the changes they think they are “forcing” on technology companies,” commented another one. “Pretty sure Apple can/will put up a major fight against this.”

What do you think of this bill? And what do you think will be Apple’s response to this? Let us know in the comment section. 


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