Despite Apple’s Privacy Pledge, Police Can Still Pull Data Off a Locked iPhone

Despite Apple’s Privacy Pledge, Police Can Still Pull Data Off a Locked iPhone

A reminder to iPhone owners cheering Apple’s latest privacy win: Just because Apple will no longer help police to turn your smartphone inside out doesn’t mean it can prevent them from vivisecting the device on their own.

On Wednesday evening Apple made news with a strongly worded statement about how it protects users’ data from government requests. And the page noted at least one serious change in that privacy stance: No longer will Apple aid law enforcement or intelligence agencies in cracking its users’ passcodes to access their email, photos, or other mobile data. That’s a 180-degree flip from its previous offer to police, which demanded only that they provide the device to Apple with a warrant to have its secrets extracted.

In fact, Apple claims that the new scheme now makes Apple not only unwilling, but unable to open users’ locked phones for law enforcement. “Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access [your personal] data,” reads the new policy. “So 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.”

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