×

Sculley: More 'conversation' needed between govt., Silicon Valley

Is your privacy the cost of security?

Recently, in the wake of tragedies like San Bernardino or the recent Paris attacks, technology companies are facing pressure to share data with the government in its efforts to combat terror.

Yet is Silicon Valley willing to cooperate? Apple's former chief predicted tech companies would adapt to the challenge, citing the "very dangerous time" marked by terrorism fears.

"I think you're going to see more and more advances in cybersecurity technology over the next year," John Sculley, former Apple CEO told CNBC's "Power Lunch," on Monday. There has to be more "conversation —beyond what we've had today to figure out how do you keep the country safe."

In his speech from the Oval Office on Sunday, President Barack Obama called for "high-tech and law enforcement leaders to make it harder for terrorists to use technology to escape from justice."

The debate over a "back door," which argues that tech companies should allow client-data access to law enforcement, has taken the forefront in conversations of countering terrorism. Companies, however, have pro-privacy measures that protect consumer privacy.

Sculley told CNBC that the debate was largely generational, with certain age groups more comfortable with the idea of government access to personal data than others.

"If you were talking to millennials, they'd have no problem giving up their privacy, because the reality is they don't pay a lot of attention to privacy," Sculley said.

"It's older people who probably pay more attention to privacy, and older people tend to be the voters," he added.

Meanwhile, applications like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Wickr —a platform designed to encrypt communication—resist government surveillance. Wickr is an app. that self-destructs messages, leaving no trace, while WhatsApp and Telegram encrypt text.

More than applications, Apple and Google devices are password protected posing difficulties for law enforcement who try to decode information in gadgets.