by Mario Trujillo | The Hill
The majority of voters in a new survey believe companies like Apple and Google are right to encrypt their devices, preventing the government from gaining access to data stored on them.
According to a new poll of 993 likely presidential voters, 56 percent said people have a right to privacy and oppose a "backdoor" for government to collect information.
Another 44 percent said the companies are wrong, asserting the encryption takes away an essential tool for law enforcement. Two research firms — SKD Knickerbocker and Benenson Strategy Group — conducted the survey as a joint project, the Beyond the Beltway Insight Initiative.
Earlier this year, Apple and Google said the encryption would come standard on new phones. The locks would prevent anyone, including the government with a warrant, from accessing information stored on the phone without permission.
The FBI has pushed back, saying investigations could be stalled and more suspects could walk free if the encryption becomes the norm.
Sixty-one percent of Democrats support the encryption, as do 55 percent of independents. Republicans were split on the issue.
The poll also found 79 percent of voters continue to have trust in technology companies, while 21 percent said the opposite.
The poll surveyed 993 likely voters from Dec. 7-10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.