Last week, I had a similar thought when I saw a few headlines about this story that blamed Meta for turning over data. What were they supposed to do in the face of a subpoena? Isn’t that the same thing a former President is now in trouble for, not responding to one and requiring the FBI to show up with a search warrant instead?
“Facebook and its parent company Meta drew fire last week for providing private messages to the police in an abortion case. But in many cases, the company’s hands are tied when it receives a valid court order.”
However, the article below goes on to note that Meta has options. It could create hurdles, it could delay and fight it. Neither of those would likely make much difference in the grand scheme.
Eva Galperin from the EFF, though, offers the best solution. She points out that tech companies can’t turn over what they don’t have.
It’s the collection. It’s the lack of end-to-end encryption. It’s all the information they keep about all of us forever. If they didn’t do that, it wouldn’t exist to be turned over.
They made a choice, and anyone using their services to communicate private information made theirs.
It’s something to consider if you’re concerned about police surveillance of your activities. And, there are many people not necessarily doing anything illegal who are concerned. If you’re a political activist, a member of an oppressed group, or even someone trying to escape from abuse, the amount of data these companies have and who can access it is a big deal.
By the way, when it comes to data breaches, the same thing holds. Data you don’t have will never be breached.