Apple's Touch ID rules may be designed to protect human rights

Apple does business in a lot of countries. Some of those countries have as close to fairly elected democratic representation as can be realized with actual human beings involved. (I won’t describe which.) Others may have elections but shade towards an overweening military or executive power that nullifies their value. Others still are outright totalitarian regimes, in which individual power is meaningless against the state’s control.

Apple sells into all those markets. And some of the security features it builds aren’t for those of us who live in countries that have—or purport to have—the rule of law, and checks and balances that allow for courts to intervene if the police or executive go too far.

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