dstates writes: The Wall Street Journal reports that Google is in a legal fight with the FBI over access to passwords that will unlock the data on a cell phone. Earlier this year Google refused to unlock an alleged pimp's Android cellphone even after the Federal Bureau of Investigation obtained a search warrant. The problem is that the FBI may have a warrant for a very specific piece of information, but once they have unrestricted access to a person's smartphone, they have access to information about vast swaths of the individual's life. Apple has taken a different strategy burning a unique encryption key into the silicon of each iPhone which neither Apple nor its suppliers retain. As a result, once someone makes 10 unsuccessful unlock attempts on an iPhone, the data is irretrievably gone.