In the wake of December s San Bernardino terrorist attack, a federal court has recently sided with the FBI in its demand that Apple engineers circumvent a passcode lock on an iPhone owned by one of the terrorists, to allow the government access to his personal information.
The response from Tim Cook, citing privacy concerns and not wanting to set a landmark precedent? No.
While Apple's CEO wages a legal battle with the government -- and the debate rages on over whether the privacy of every iPhone (and other cell phone) user could eventually be jeopardized if Apple does comply -- interestingly there may be some private information on your phone that you might voluntarily want to make available, under certain circumstances.
The information would be some of your specific personal health data, with the event being an accident or emergency in which you cannot communicate.
On Apple phones running iOS9, there's a feature that allows the user to create an "emergency card" within the Health App, where one can input essential health information, such as blood type, allergies and current medications.
It looks like this:
Typically this information is kept private behind your lock screen, like the rest of your data. But the App also gives you the option to "Show When Locked," which anyone could access if they came across you and you were incapacitated for any reason.
In this instance, your iPhone could do the talking for you. All a paramedic or bystander would have to do is tap "Emergency" on the bottom-left of the iPhone lock screen and then "Medical ID" and the information is displayed. It's like a new and improved medical ID bracelet -- complete with a field to list an Emergency Contact.
While no one can know if Apple will eventually provide the FBI with the information it is requesting, we do know this: Apple sold 76.5 million iPhones in the last quarter of 2015. So that's a lot of people who could make use of this feature. And if you're one of them, from a purely health-related standpoint you might like to do yourself a favor and set up your Health App and emergency card. You may never need someone to access it, but if you do, it could help facilitate some emergency treatment, or potentially save your life.