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CBS NEWS/NEW YORK TIMES POLL

For release: March 18, 2016
6:30 PM EDT

Apple, Privacy, and the Fight against Terrorism
March 11-15, 2016

Americans are divided over whether or not Apple should unlock the iPhone of one of the
suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attack. 50% think Apple should unlock the
phone, though nearly as many – 45% - think it should not.

Younger Americans, independents, and iPhone owners side with Apple, while older
Americans, and most Republicans and Democrats, side with federal law enforcement
officials in this dispute.

More than eight in 10 Americans think it’s at least somewhat likely that if Apple creates a
way to unlock the iPhone it will create a precedent for the future, and two-thirds think it’s
at least somewhat likely it will make other iPhones more vulnerable to hackers. But twothirds also think it’s at least somewhat likely that the iPhone contains information that
could help the government in its investigation.

Generally, just 26% think the federal government has gone too far in infringing on
people’s privacy in the fight against terrorism, while the percentage who thinks the
government hasn’t gone far enough has risen. But 58% of Americans remain concerned
about losing some of their privacy in the fight against terrorism.

Americans are largely divided in the dispute between Apple and federal law enforcement
officials over whether or not the technology company should create a way to bypass the
encrypted password of one of the dead suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attacks. 50% of
Americans think Apple should provide a way to unlock the iPhone. But nearly as many – 45% think it should not and side with Apple, which has said such a move would set a dangerous
precedent and compromise the privacy of other iPhone users.
Should Apple Create a Way to Unlock
the iPhone of the San Bernardino Attacker?
Should
50%
Should not
45
There is little difference among Americans on this issue based on income or education, but
there is a generational divide. Younger adults under 35 are opposed to Apple assisting the FBI
by creating software to bypass the iPhone’s encrypted password, while Americans 45 and older
think Apple should comply with the request. Americans between 35 and 44 are divided.

Conversely. though just 32% think this is very likely. Should Apple Create a Way to Unlock the iPhone of the San Bernardino Attacker? Should Should not Total 50% 45 Age 18-34 Age 35-44 Age 45-54 Age 55-64 Age 65+ 35% 50% 55% 61% 59% 62 48 42 31 33 Republicans Democrats Independents 56% 55% 44% 42 40 50 Own iPhone Do not own iPhone 45% 54% 51 41 More than four in five Americans think it’s at least somewhat likely that if Apple creates a way to unlock the suspect’s iPhone. Most Americans also think it’s at least somewhat likely that such a move will compromise the security of other iPhones and make them more vulnerable to hackers. Even those who want Apple to comply with the FBI’s request think this is at least somewhat likely. Just over half of all Americans – 52% . Most iPhone owners side with Apple. And Americans are more likely to side with the federal government on this issue the more conservative they are. it will set a precedent for the federal government to make similar requests from Apple or other technology companies. while most who don’t own an iPhone side with the government. while independents tend to think it should not. including 58% who think it is very likely. including 38% of Americans who own an iPhone. Favorable Not favorable Opinion of Apple Now 11/2011 71% 77% 20 8 . most Republicans and Democrats alike think Apple should create a way to unlock the iPhone. 68% of Americans think it’s likely that unlocking the iPhone will provide information that will help to prevent future terrorist attacks. but even those who side with the government on this issue still mostly view Apple favorably. 71% of Americans have a favorable opinion of the technology company. just a slight decrease from 2011. Americans who own Apple products rate the company particularly highly. Likelihood that Unlocking the iPhone Will… Very Somewhat Set a precedent for the government 58% 25 Compromise the security of other iPhones 43% 24 Help prevent future terrorist attacks 32% 36 Not very/at all 14 28 27 Despite the dispute. Apple remains popular.report that they own some type of Apple product.Politically.

government has gone too far in infringing on people’s privacy in its efforts to fight terrorism .S. Infringing on People’s Privacy to Fight Terrorism: The Government Has… Now 2/2014 11/2013 Gone too far 26% 45% 43% Not gone far enough 26 10 10 Balance about right 40 42 42 6/2013 36% 13 46 At the same time. The poll employed a random digit dial methodology. Phone numbers were dialed from samples of both standard land-line and cell phones.Privacy and the Fight against Terrorism Overall. Census figures on demographic variables.S. This poll release conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. Concern about Losing Privacy in Government’s Efforts to Fight Terrorism Now 11/2015 1/2014 6/2013 Very/somewhat 58% 54% 59% 59% Not very/not at all 40 44 41 40 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------This poll was conducted by telephone March 11-15. . Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using live interviewers. 40% think the balance has been about right. 58% of Americans express at least some concern about losing their privacy as a result of steps taken by the federal government to fight terrorism. The error for other subgroups may be higher and is available by request. just 26% of Americans think the U. including more than a quarter (28%) who are very concerned. For the landline sample. There has been little change on this measure over the past three years. The error due to sampling for results based on the entire sample could be plus or minus three percentage points.022 adults nationwide. a respondent was randomly selected from all adults in the household. The margin of error includes the effects of standard weighting procedures which enlarge sampling error slightly. Data collection was conducted on behalf of CBS News and the New York Times by SSRS of Media.a 19 point drop from two years ago– while belief that the government is not going far enough has risen 16 points. 2016 among a random sample of 1. PA. For the cell sample. concerns about personal privacy remain. interviews were conducted with the person who answered the phone. The data have been weighted to reflect U.

do you think the US government has gone too far in infringing on people’s privacy. or very unfavorable? Very favorable Mostly favorable Mostly unfavorable Very unfavorable Never heard of Apple Don't know/No answer 24 47 12 8 1 7 21 44 16 9 * 10 27 51 10 7 1 4 24 46 12 9 1 8 Nov11b 31 46 6 2 2 4 . or has the balance been about right? Too far Not far enough About right Don't know/No answer ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** Total Reps Dems Inds % % % % 26 20 22 33 26 41 22 20 40 36 48 35 8 3 8 11 Feb14c % 45 10 42 2 04. somewhat concerned. and the Fight against Terrorism March 11-15. mostly unfavorable. Is your overall opinion of the technology company--Apple very favorable. 2016 01-02 Released separately 03. in its efforts to fight terrorism. or has it not gone far enough. Privacy. Overall. How concerned are you about losing some of your privacy as a result of steps taken by the federal government to fight terrorism –are you very concerned. not very concerned.CBS News Poll Apple. mostly favorable. or not at all concerned? Very concerned Somewhat concerned Not very concerned Not at all concerned Don't know/No answer 28 30 21 19 2 22 29 25 22 2 25 31 25 18 1 34 29 17 18 2 Nov15e 27 27 22 22 2 05-12 Released separately 13.

How likely do you think it is that creating a way to unlock the suspect’s iPhone will compromise the security of other iPhones and Apple devices that would make them more vulnerable to hackers? Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not at all likely Don't know/No answer 43 24 15 13 5 38 23 19 17 4 42 30 13 10 5 46 21 14 13 6 . saying this would set a precedent that could compromise the privacy of other iPhone users. As you may know. California terrorist attack in December – a lot. Do you think Apple should create a way to unlock the iPhone. Apple has refused. federal law enforcement officials have asked Apple to create a way to unlock the iPhone of one of the suspects in the San Bernardino terrorist attack in order to help in their investigation. How much have you heard or read about the dispute between federal law enforcement officials and Apple about unlocking the iPhone of one of the suspects in the San Bernardino.14. or not? Should Should not Don't know/No answer 50 45 5 56 42 2 55 40 5 44 50 6 16. some. not much or nothing at all? A lot Some Not much Nothing Don't know/No answer ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** Total Reps Dems Inds % % % % 42 46 43 39 30 32 30 28 12 12 14 11 14 10 11 19 2 1 1 3 15. How likely do you think it is that unlocking the suspect’s iPhone will provide information that will help to prevent future terrorist attacks? Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not at all likely Don't know/No answer 32 36 16 11 5 34 41 18 6 2 32 38 15 8 6 30 32 16 16 5 17.

but no iPhone No Apple device Don't know/No answer Total respondents: 1.18. Do you currently own any devices made by Apple. iPhone Yes Apple device. iPod. such as an iPhone. or iMac? IF YES: Is one of those devices an iPhone? Yes. iPad. How likely do you think it is that unlocking the suspect’s iPhone will set a precedent for the federal government to make similar requests from Apple and other companies to unlock the data of other devices in the future? ** TOTAL RESPONDENTS ** Total Reps Dems Inds % % % % 58 51 60 61 25 27 25 23 7 14 6 4 7 7 7 7 3 2 2 5 Very likely Somewhat likely Not very likely Not at all likely Don't know/No answer 19. MacBook.022 38 14 48 1 43 12 45 * 37 16 46 1 36 13 50 1 .