Starting with iOS 8, Apple will no longer decrypt iPhones for law enforcement

starting ios 8 apple longer decrypting iphones law enforcement screen shot 2014 09 18 at 3 29 pm
Rest assured that all of the weird, deeply personal things you do on your iOS devices won’t wind up in the hands of law enforcement officers – at least by Apple’s doing. The Cupertino company stated on Wednesday night via an updated privacy policy that it will be impossible for Apple to decrypt data and turn it over to the police.

Starting with iOS 8, Apple’s new approach to user privacy essentially bars the company and anyone other than the owner of a device from accessing the sensitive information stored on iPhones or iPads. Data including messages, photos, emails, contacts, call history, notes, and reminders sit behind passcode-protected encryption that only the user has access to. “Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data,” the company states on its website.

This serves as a solution to Apple’s problems as much as it does to individual users: “It’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8,” Apple says. It has essentially used the new privacy policy and encryption solution as a way out of dealing with government information requests. Now when asked to turn over data, even when presented with a search warrant, the company can easily avoid sticky legal situations by removing itself from the equation.

The decision does not necessarily protect Apple from the legal responsibility of surrendering user data stored elsewhere, including in the iCloud. On its website, Apple says that iCloud account requests make up about 7 percent of all information requests, though that number could now be on the rise as iOS 8 rolls out and shrinks the number of devices that Apple can access for police. Given the generally high adoption rate of new operating systems on Apple devices — iOS 7 reached over 90 percent of active iOS devices during its reign – the likelihood is a vast majority of Apple customers will fall under the new privacy provisions.

The move is another step toward protecting user privacy that Apple has taken in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks about government spying and compliance among tech companies. Apple claims, “less than 0.00385 percent of customers had data disclosed” in government information requests made of the company and also stated it “has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a ‘back door’ in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed any government access to our servers. And we never will.”

Mobile

Hackers conduct prolonged cyberattack against phone network, says security firm

A security company says a prolonged cyberattack against global phone networks, where hackers have apparently collected data related to phone conversations and even the physical location of the device, has taken place.
Web

Security vulnerabilities found in three quarters of mobile apps

Three quarters of Android and iOS apps have security vulnerabilities related to insecure data storage. This could lead to information like passwords, financial details, personal data, and communications being accessible by hackers.
Emerging Tech

SpaceX is on a hiring spree for its Starlink global internet project

After a string of delays, SpaceX's Starlink project was finally launched last month. Now an analysis of data from SpaceX's job listings shows the company is on a hiring tear, advertising for more and more positions for the project.
Mobile

Around 40% of Android and iOS apps have high-risk vulnerabilities

According to a new study, a huge percentage of both Android and iOS apps have high-risk vulnerabilities. The majority of the vulnerabilities are related to insecure data storage, which could leave users' data open to attack from malware.
Computing

The MacOS Catalina public beta is live. Here’s how to download it

Apple's latest MacOS update, known as Catalina, is finally available for developer preview, which means if you're willing to pay a little for the privilege, you can be one of the first to try it out.
Computing

MacOS Catalina has arrived. Here are the 5 best features you can use right now

As of Monday, June 24, Apple has released the public beta of its newest MacOS, Catalina. Here are the five best features to expect from MacOS Catalina, including the trio of apps expected to replace iTunes.
Mobile

iOS 13 is the feature-filled update Apple’s iPhone needed

iOS 13 is here -- at least, the public beta has landed. You can install it now on supported iPhones. Check out our iOS 13 hands-on as we dive into some of the biggest new features, from Dark mode to the new Photos app.
Mobile

iOS 13 dazzles, but Apple turns down the lights with its new Dark Mode

Apple's iOS 13 is introducing a lot of new features to iPhones, but one of the biggest and most coveted additions absolutely has to be Dark Mode. Here's how to turn on Dark Mode in iOS 13, set an automatic timer, and more.
Computing

Apple has a plan to save Mac gaming, but it’s not the one you want

The Mac isn’t known for being a game-friendly platform, but Apple hopes to change that in the coming months and years. The thing is, its plan may not be quite what you were hoping for if you’re a Mac gamer.
Apple

Apple iPad with Wi-Fi and cellular gets $80 price cut on Amazon ahead of Prime Day

Apple iPads are getting a piece of the Amazon Prime Day action in the weeks leading up to July 15. Now on Amazon ahead of Prime Day, score your 32GB Apple iPad (Wi-Fi + cellular) for just $379, down from $459.
Deals

Amazon’s back-to-college store drops deals on refurbished items before Prime Day

Buying refurbished is a great way to save money, and Amazon has a ton of deals right now. While there's hundreds of Amazon refurbished items on the site, we've found 20 items that we think both college students and parents might be…
News

Apple’s new Seattle campus may mean big things for Siri, artificial intelligence

Apple plans to hire 2,000 more employees for a new Seattle campus, the company announced Monday, with a significant number of those jobs focused on Siri and artificial intelligence.
Mobile

Looking for a stylus for cheap? The Adonit Pro 4 is a great starting point

For casual note takers and sketch artists, the Adonit Pro 4 stylus is a low-maintenance, low-cost device for people just getting started with using a conductive pen on their smartphone or tablet.
Mobile

The best gardening apps help you watch your garden grow

It takes work, commitment, and smarts to cultivate a beautiful garden or grow your own food, so you need all the help you can get. The best gardening apps can identify plants and pests and assist with garden care and planting schedules.