Americans are siding with the FBI in its battle with Apple to help hack the phone of a shooter in the deadly terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif, last December, a new poll says.
Some 51 percent of registered voters say Apple should unlock the phone, according to survey results released Friday by polling company Morning Consult. The poll was conducted among 1,935 registered voters on Feb. 24 and Feb. 25.
A third of poll respondents said that the Cupertino, Calif.-based firm shouldn’t unlock the phone, while 16 percent answered don’t know or don’t care.
“Data show Americans are walking the same tightrope as U.S. intelligence officials when they say privacy is important, but they need access to the data on the phone,” explained Morning Consult, in a statement.
Some 54 percent of respondents said their personal information and data would be less secure if tech companies were required to give the government access to personal information. However, one-third of respondents said “the U.S. would be more likely to prevent terrorist attacks.”
Morning Consult’s poll results echo those of a survey released Monday by the Pew Research Center. Just over half (51 percent) of respondents to the Pew poll said that Apple should unlock the iPhone to help the FBI investigation.
Some 38% of people surveyed said that the tech giant should not help hack the phone, while 11 percent didn’t know. The survey was conducted between Feb.18 and Feb. 21 among 1,002 adults.
Adults between the ages of 18 and 29 are divided over what Apple should do, according to the Pew poll, with 47 percent saying the company should unlock the iPhone, and 43 percent saying it should not. Among people 65 and older, 54 percent think that Apple should unlock the phone and 27 percent do not.
However, 46 percent of respondents to a Reuters/IPSOS poll released this week said they agreed with Apple’s stance and 35 percent said they disagreed. The national online survey was conducted between Feb.19 and Feb. 23 with more than 1,500 adults.
Apple on Thursday asked a federal magistrate to reverse her order that the company help the FBI hack into the locked iPhone, accusing the federal government of seeking "dangerous power" through the courts.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.