We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.
Finally, 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. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.
Following the policy update, Apple also updated its page on Government Information Requests with the following paragraph regarding access to requested data on devices running iOS8 and having a password lock enabled:
On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. 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.
The above line is also being given to law enforcement at all levels, with the only real way to collect requested evidence being through a request for iCloud account access, and that assumes that every device running iOS8 also utilizes iCloud on top of Apple screening the request and giving any affected user advance notice of such a request, which is already upsetting some in higher levels of law enforcement, such as the FBI, while privacy advocates hail these moves by Apple as a significant move for the company. Apple faced intense scrutiny over the Labor Day weekend leak of celebrity photos due to poor iCloud security implementations before its long awaited press event, which have since been fixed.
Older devices that run older versions of iOS will still be open to such unlocking requests by law enforcement, but these changes mean that Apple is taking a much more visible stance in favor of customer privacy, which will no doubt have long-term effects for all services and manufacturers.