KEY POINTS

  • In The US, authorities are continuously trying to persuade Apple to access users' data information on iPhones
  • Unlike the US, Police Scotland is launching a new technology that will allow authorities to access users' data
  • Police Scotland announces that the rollout of Cyber Kiosk technology will begin on Jan. 20

Apple has received backlash from the US government over the past weeks because of its refusal to unlock two iPhones owned by a suspected shooter. Ever since the San Bernadino case, the Cupertino company has made a specific page on its official website for law enforcement officials to request for data from the company. Unlike in the US, Scotland has no trouble obtaining this kind of information, and it is launching a program called cyber kiosks a few days from now.

Scotland Police confirmed earlier this week that starting Jan. 20 officers will receive cyber kiosks. According to The National, cyber kiosks are machines, the size of a desktop. It allows users to override encryption, in some cases, on mobile devices such as smartphones, including iPhones and tablets.



In other words, devices like smartphones, including Apple iPhones, and tablets, could be subject to examinations using a cyber kiosk. The machine will extract data relevant to accidents or investigations. The rollout of the technology was due earlier; however, it met several delays for ‘greater clarity over legal framework of its use,’ according to The National.

Apple Senior Director of Product Marketing Kaiann Drance speaks onstage about the iPhone 11's cameras Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo believes Chinese consumers prefer the iPhone 11 because of its aggressive pricing. (Apple Senior Director of Product Marketing Kaiann Drance speaks onstage about the iPhone 11's cameras during a product launch event at Apple's headquarters in Cupertino, California) Photo: AFP / Josh Edelson

Police Scotland has 41 cyber kiosks waiting to be released across all policing divisions. All of these cyber kiosks are expected to be fully operational before May 2020 ends. Also, specially trained police officers are the ones allowed to handle the examination.   

The cyber kiosk could only be used to an individual’s device whenever there is a legal basis or when it is  ‘necessary, justified, and proportionate’ to the crime being investigated. Additionally, authorities are not allowed to store information from any device. When the examination is complete, all data must be securely deleted.    

Significant consultation with stakeholder groups and external advisory was made, according to Police Scotland.  "By quickly identifying devices which do and do not contain evidence, we can minimise the intrusion on people's lives and provide a better service to the public," notes a statement on the Police Scotland official website.  Scotland’s cyber kiosks underline similar situations in the US, where authorities tried to gain access to digital information from smartphones, says Apple Insider.