Apple Inc dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company’s iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, six sources familiar with the matter told Reuters.
The tech giant’s reversal, about two years ago, has not previously been reported. It shows how much Apple has been willing to help U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, despite taking a harder line in high-profile legal disputes with the government and casting itself as a defender of its customers’ information.
This once again just goes to show Apple’s privacy chest-thumping is nothing but marketing and grandstanding. This is effectively a backdoor for government agencies to use, and if the “good guys” can use it, so can the bad guys. On top of that, this neatly ties into Apple handing over iCloud data to the Chinese government – data that is most certainly being used by the Chinese regime in, among other things, its genocide of the Uyghurs.
I prefer a company that’s open and honest about what data it collects and uses and why – Google – over a company that purposefully tries to muddy the waters through marketing and grandstanding – Apple. The devil you know and all that.
Google is open and honest? What a joke. Google is the company that tracks location data on Android phones — even when the user completely turns it off. Google is the company that pretended to be in favor of human rights in China but then secretly worked with the Chinese government. There is literally nothing this company does honestly.
This decision by Apple does suck. And, sadly, it’s not really surprising. But it’s not a back door. Apple doesn’t encrypt online backups and then have a secret decryption key for the FBI. The data is completely readable to Apple, just like iCloud email, calendar data, photos, etc. Apple has never said they cannot see this data and give it to governments. There’s no lying here. It’s just that you and I are disappointed in their privacy decisions.
The real answer is that there is no phone operating system you can use and get privacy. Maybe an iPhone that never, ever signs into iCloud. But that’s it.