Apple’s stand on security is pretty clear at this point, with the levels of encryption in place on its iOS devices preventing the company from accessing them if they’re locked.
As it stands, Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, hasn’t wavered from this position, and considering it has been the case since the release of iOS 8 in 2014, and continues to be in 2015 with iOS 9, it doesn’t appear like Apple will change its tune anytime soon. That hasn’t stopped folks from trying, though. For instance, as reported by Reuters, Judge James Orenstein, requested that Apple access data on a locked iPhone. Unfortunately, as Cook would inform the judge, it’s simply not possible for Apple to do so.
Apple does not store encryption keys for devices running iOS, and it has not done so since the release of iOS 8. Therefore, with devices running that platform version or later, Apple can’t access what’s present on a locked device without the passcode associated with that device.
Apple added in the briefing that out of the millions of devices out there in the wild running iOS, 90 percent of them are running iOS 8 or a newer version of the platform. Apple did admit that it could, if necessary, access that remaining ten percent of devices that aren’t running the newer software, but doing so could potentially ruin Apple’s brand over time.
This is certainly not the first time that Apple’s encryption methods and security plans have come under fire. The FBI’s director, James Comey has expressed his own disdain for Apple’s tactics, and even the United States Attorney General, Eric Holder, has raised concerns over the lack of accessibility in Apple’s mobile devices.