Apple denies creating ‘backdoor’ services in iOS for government agencies

iPhone 5s 5c

Ever since former NSA contractor Edward Snowden leaked documents that reveal how the NSA collects phone records on millions of customers and has software to spy on iOS device owners, major tech companies like Apple have faced an onslaught of criticism and investigation into how the personal information of users is being handled. 

Yesterday, it was reported that Apple has so-called “backdoor” services installed on iOS that make data collection easier for both the iPhone maker and government agencies. The discovery was made by forensic scientist and iPhone jailbreak expert Jonathan Zdziarski, who discussed his findings at the recent HOPE X hacking conference.

Zdziarski ensured that he is not a conspiracy theorist, pointing out that iOS is actually rather secure against malicious attacks from external parties. However, the hacker did express interest in receiving a response from Apple and removal of these backdoor services from iOS devices.

Wish granted. Financial Times reporter Tim Bradshaw has obtained an official statement from Apple in response to these allegations, and the company has denied working with government agencies to create a backdoor service in any of its products or services.

Bradshaw shared an excerpt from the response on Twitter:

“We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues. A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent.

As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services.”

In the interest of full transparency, Apple provided an Update on National Security and Law Enforcement Orders in January.

What do you make of this whole situation?