The legal showdown over U.S. demands that Apple Inc AAPL.O unlock an iPhone used by San Bernardino shooter Rizwan Farook might have been avoided if his employer, which owns the device, had equipped it with special mobile phone software it issues to many workers.
San Bernardino County, which employed Farook as an environmental health inspector, requires some, but not all, of its workers to install mobile-device management software made by Silicon Valley-based MobileIron Inc MOBL.O on government-issued phones, according to county spokesman David Wert.
That software is designed to secure corporate data. It also allows information technology departments to remotely unlock phones, even without assistance of the phone’s users or access to the password needed to open the phone and unscramble the data.
“If that particular iPhone was using MobileIron, the county’s IT department could unlock it,” MobileIron Vice President Ojas Rege told Reuters.
The problem is that the MobileIron software was not installed on Farook’s phone because his department did not use it. “The app was not installed on that device,” Wert said.
Read more: kfgo.com