Obama Tells SXSW: Don't Be 'Absolutist' On Encryption
President Obama told South By Southwest that some concessions are necessary when it comes to digital privacy.By Matt Picht | March 11, 2016
When President Obama visited South by Southwest this weekend, he made it clear he wasn't going to talk about the ongoing legal battle between Apple and the federal government. But he did weigh in on some broader questions about encryption and digital privacy.
"I would caution against taking an absolutist perspective on this. We make compromises all the time. ... It's fetishizing our phones above every other value, and that can't be the right answer," Obama said.
Obama told the crowd individuals must be prepared to make some concessions to the government when it comes to digital privacy, as they do with almost every right. He also cautioned it would be much safer for the tech sector to voluntarily find an encryption compromise than to wait for congressional compulsion.