The Way You Ask The Questions Matters: Reuters Poll Says People Support Apple Against FBI, But It's All In The Questions
from the stupid-questions,-stupid-answers dept
Apple is opposing a court order to unlock a smart phone that was used by one of the shooters in the San Bernardino attack. Apple is concerned that if it helps the FBI this time, it will be forced to help the government in future cases that may not be linked to national security, opening the door for hackers and potential future data breaches for smartphone users. Do you agree or disagree with Apple’s decision to oppose the court order?And, to refresh your memory, here's how Pew asked it:
As you may know, RANDOMIZE: [the FBI has said that accessing the iPhone is an important part of their ongoing investigation into the San Bernardino attacks] while [Apple has said that unlocking the iPhone could compromise the security of other users’ information] do you think Apple [READ; RANDOMIZE]?Notice that the Reuters/Ipsos version focuses solely on the downsides laid out by Apple, and not the supposed intent of the FBI. The Pew poll tries to "balance" the two. Meanwhile both polls get the basic facts wrong, because the request is not to "unlock a smart phone" because Apple cannot "unlock it." The actual ask is that it build a new operating system (which has some big challenges) that has purposely undermined two key security features on the iPhone, so that the FBI can then hack the passcode and access the phone. The specifics here matter and neither poll gets them right.
(1) Should unlock the iPhone (2) Should not unlock the iPhone (3) Don't Know.
So while I, personally, think Apple is the one to support in this fight, I don't think either poll really says much about anything, other than that depending on how you word a poll, you can get very, very different results. That's really not particularly interesting as it pertains to the actual debate here. Stupid polls get stupid answers.