Apple is gaining ground in winning the hearts and minds of the American public in the battle with the federal government over encryption.
A CNBC survey conducted before the Justice Department dropped its court order bid against the tech giant to unlock a terrorist's iPhone found that 57 percent of Americans agreed that privacy concerns trumped the needs of law enforcement in the debate. That was an increase from 53 percent in December's CNBC All-America Economic Survey.
In the latest poll, CNBC surveyed 802 Americans from March 21 through March 23, with the Brussels terror attacks falling in the middle. The margin of error was plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. Results broken down by day showed that the Brussels attack had little effect on the responses. The respondents continued to favor the software companies after the attack, just as they did before.