Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has likened the fear of cyber crime to the levels of panic seen during Cold War.
Speaking in Sydney, Australia, he said: “We used to fear the atomic bomb when I was young, and you used to come home from school and sirens would go off for a test on every corner.
“Now we fear all the cyber attacks and hacking. What’s the next one we’re going to hear about?
“Is one going to come close to me? Is it going to hit me? Could they really take out our electrical system, take out our internet, how far can it go? And it’s getting worse and worse year by year, not better and better.”
But he said it was wrong for the US government to recently try to order Apple to unlock the phone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
He said: “What if the FBI was able to go to any company, any time they felt like it and said you have to build a product our way? I don’t think that’s right.
“What if the FBI can’t get into a phone? They’ve still got all the records in this recent case, they’ve still got all the records from the phone company — of every communication that was made, of every SMS message that was sent.”
Mr Wozniak left his role as vice-president of research and development at Apple in the 1980s and sold most of his shares.
However he is still an employee of the company and receives an annual salary.
He also discussed on-demand taxi app Uber, saying he was concerned about how much it pays its drivers, and fears that it could become a monopoly.
He said: “Their drivers don’t really realise necessarily at first that they aren’t making much money and may be losing money on the wear and tear of their cars.
“It is a danger when any group becomes a very powerful monopoly because they can take advantage and use it in bad ways.”