According to recent reports, Apple’s new operating system iOS8 makes it impossible for it to comply with NSA requests to hand over people’s data.
Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user information.
But Cory Doctorow quotes John Gilmore who says that Apple is asking us to take their claims on faith without giving us the information to think that their promises can be trusted. And Andy Greenberg says that the government still has ways of getting your private information off your phone.
Apple’s announcement comes on the heels of Google and Dropbox also announcing steps to make secure systems easier for consumers to use.
Google and file-hosting service Dropbox announced the creation of Simply Secure on Thursday, an organization that aims to make security tech easier to use.
“While consumer-facing security tools exist and are technically effective, they often have low adoption rates because they’re inconvenient or too confusing for the average person to operate. Even well-known features like two-factor authentication, offered by many online services, are not widely used,” the companies said in a statement.
The file sharing site Dropbox is particularly vulnerable to customer defection after Edward Snowden said that the company was “hostile to privacy” and that people should use Spideroak instead, which is what I now use.
While I welcome these developments at improving privacy protections by these big companies, I am also a little wary of accepting them at face value. The big corporations have an ugly history of pretending to be on the side of their clients while secretly colluding with governments.