Apple has a come along way when it comes to its users privacy, from being accused of freely giving information to PRISM, to only giving information to law enforcement with a valid warrant, to the most recent announcement that encryption would be automatically enabled on new iPhones and other iOS 8 devices.
The announcement has drawn criticism from the the director of the FBI who said that that iOS 8 has “swung too far towards privacy”. Apple claims with the new encryption standards that once a user has set a passcode for the phone, not even Apple themselves can unlock the user data. Google has also announced that automatic encryption will be a feature of the next android operating system. There is no exact details from Google yet.
Will Apple be allowed keep their new Encryption Standards?
The FBI criticism focused on accessing phones in the event of kidnapping and other criminal investigations,even claiming that it could put peoples lives at risk. Currently Apple claims to have no ways to access users iPhone, no built in backdoor. It’s not surprising that some have claimed Apple are picking a fight with the US Government.
It’s not just the US Government though, many countries such as Russia and China could also consider measures such as banning the sale of certain Apple products as a response to the new encryption standards. In 2012 Blackberry came under pressure from the Indian Government to hand over encryption keys for the Blackberry messaging service, while Blackberry denied doing so they did later admit to adding a “lawful intercept” method or backdoor.
It will be interesting to see whether Apple and Google will be able to keep their promises about the quality of their encryption. We at Zenmate don't have such worries. Zenmate encrypts all your data in the background. It’s also VPN and compresses data on your smartphone. We’re also based in Germany, a country with very strict data protection laws. That we do not log or collect data user data is not just a promise to our users. It’s the law in Germany.