If you have in your possession a work-issued iPhone, Apple will soon make it easier to determine if your employer is monitoring your activities and tracking your location. reddit user MaGNeTiX discovered in iOS 9.3 Beta 5 that Apple has enabled a new feature that displays a warning message on your lock screen that reads, "This iPhone is managed by your organisation.”
Further snooping around by MaGNeTiX revealed that if you navigate to your device’s About page in Settings, you’ll find a little bit more information on what your employer is able to monitor. In MaGNeTiX’s case, his employer can monitor all of is Internet traffic and his iPhone’s location.
This functionality is only enabled if a company has its iPhones registered through Apple's Device Enrollment Program. A subset of the enrollment program is Mobile Device Management (MDM), which allows companies to easily manage a large number of iOS devices using fully automated setup, operating system upgrades, managed app configurations, over-the-air in-house app distribution, and of course device monitoring.
Even though Apple is giving you fair warning which activities are being monitored, it still doesn’t give the user the ability to turn off said functionality.
This new “Big Brother” alert probably would have easily flown under the radar a few months ago, but with the San Bernardino mass shooting putting Apple and the FBI on opposing sides of the encryption debate in court, it’s a timely development. Syed Rizwan Farook was using a government-issued iPhone 5c that is the subject of the FBI’s passcode unlock request, which Apple has denied.
Apple considers such action by the U.S. Government unconstitutional, and had that viewpoint backed up recently by U.S. Magistrate Judge James Orenstein. “It is also clear that the government has made the considered decision that it is better off securing such crypto-legislative authority from the courts rather than taking the chance that open legislative debate might produce a result less to its liking,” wrote Orenstein in his ruling.