TO UNDERSTAND JENNIFER GRANICK’S VIEWS on freedom and privacy, consider her interactions with Apple. In 2010, she and the company were at odds. Debate was raging over the practice of “jailbreaking,” which enabled iPhone users to circumvent locks Apple put on its devices so they could switch carriers or install apps not sold by Apple. The company claimed the practice led to copyright infringement. Then, Granick was civil liberties director at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, an advocacy group focused on protecting individuals’ rights in the digital world. Her group successfully persuaded the U.S. Librarian of Congress to adopt a rule clarifying that jailbreaking doesn’t violate federal law.
But last fall, their interests aligned. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn wanted Apple to disable the encryption on a mobile device whose owner was under investigation. Granick signed on to an amicus brief that defended Apple’s interest in building robust privacy and security features into its products. The brief also argued that Congress specifically chose not to require certain technology companies to create “backdoors” into their encryption features to enable access for law enforcement purposes.
Read the full profile of Jennifer at Stanford Alumni Magazine.