Apple May Face $1M Fine Per iPhone They Refuse to Unlock in France

As the Apple vs. FBI legal debate went out to the media, the iPhone maker was right: the whole world is watching. Now, French politicians are debating new sanctions targeting Apple and its privacy efforts.


The Local reports that Yann Galut, a member of France’s Socialist Party revealed that he is working on an amendment to France’s laws which would bring Apple a $1.1 million fine if it doesn’t unlock an iPhone.

Speaking with Le Parisien, the politician said both Apple and Google should be legally forced to allow access to content on locked devices. Otherwise, they should be fined.

Apple should supply an encryption key for the targeted device subject to criminal investigation, Galut added, saying that the police would not have “a general key” to access data.

The publication says French police were unable to crack open eight phones last year during their terror investigations.

Interestingly, in January the French government rejected a law proposing the creation of a backdoor, so Galut’s amendment revives that effort, although his proposal is easier on US tech companies than his opponents. During the Tuesday debate of laws to enhance anti-terror capabilities, Eric Ciotti, for example, suggested a $2.2 million fine if the company failed to assist law enforcement agencies during a criminal investigation and a “further deterrent threat” of banning all products and services for up to a year.

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