The U.S. Supreme Court recently announced a decision that will have a significant impact on tech companies across the country. In a 5-4 ruling, the court ruled that the White House may continue to make requests to tech companies from a wide variety of sources. The ruling comes in the wake of President Donald Trump’s controversial executive order signed in January, in which the administration requested information from companies such as Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Apple. The order was met with widespread criticism from the tech industry, which argued that the requests infringed upon their customers’ privacy rights. In response to the ruling, tech companies across the country expressed their disappointment in the decision, citing the lack of transparency and accountability on the matter. Many of the tech companies argued that the White House was using a “backdoor” approach to gain access to customer information, without any of the safeguards that accompany the court system. The decision was split along ideological lines, with the five conservative judges ruling in favor of the White House while the four liberals voted against it. In a statement, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, “This case raises important questions about the extent to which the executive branch may make requests that implicate the privacy interests of American citizens. We must therefore determine whether the executive’s request for information here was proper and consistent with the rules of due process.” The ruling is sure to have ramifications on the tech industry as well as the debate over privacy rights. The White House now has the authority to demand information from tech companies with a single stroke of the pen, without needing to obtain a warrant or any other form of judicial approval. This raises questions about how much of our personal data is being shared with government agencies, and how vulnerable our private information may be to government overreach. Ultimately, it will be up to the tech companies to decide how they choose to respond to these requests and whether or not they will be able to protect their customers’ privacy. For now, the Supreme Court’s ruling serves as a reminder of the importance of constructing a legal framework that balances the need for transparency and accountability with the rights of citizens to have their personal data safeguarded.