Apple Says Your iPhone 6 Is Secure From Prying Eyes, Even With A Search Warrant

Not even three weeks removed from a rather controversial iCloud hacking incident in which hackers were able to obtain nude photos of celebrities and post them online, Apple is championing itself as the protector of user privacy. Not many companies have the marketing mojo to go from one extreme end of the spectrum to the other, let alone do it in such a short time, but that's Apple for you. The iCloud incident is now old news, and the focus going forward is how Apple has your back when it comes to privacy.

Apple CEO Tim Cook posted a message on the company's website talking about trust, respect, privacy, encryption, and how they all relate to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus. Privacy is a hot topic, not just because of what happened with iCloud, but also because Uncle Sam feels it necessary to have access to all forms of electronic communication, private or otherwise. Throw in the fact that Apple's pushing its Apple Pay technology with the iPhone 6, it's easy to see why users need some reassurance.

Tim Cook
Image Source: Flickr (Mike Deerkoski)

"I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services," Cook states in his message regarding privacy. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it."

This isn't just lip service. Knowing that the U.S. government and police can wield the law to force the turnover of information, Apple decided to sidestep the issue by building security measures into iOS 8 that even it can't infiltrate. For example, your messages and FaceTime communications feature end-to-end encryption.

iCloud Lockup

"Apple has no way to decrypt iMessage and FaceTime data when it's in transit between devices. So unlike other companies' messaging services, Apple doesn't scan your communications, and we wouldn't be able to comply with a wiretap order even if we wanted to," Apple states on a webpage describing the iPhone 6's built-in privacy safeguards.

The Cupertino outfit claims that it also can't bypass your passcode to access data, so when there's a government request for data extraction, Apple can sit there and claim that it's not "technically feasible" if the user is running iOS 8.

This all sounds good in theory; here's hoping the government doesn't pass a law making it illegal for companies to essentially code themselves out of being able to comply with warrants.