Monday, May 12, 2014

Apple User Protection

Apple has updated its procedures for dealing with police investigations into its user's data, and has promised to let individuals know when they are being probed – most of the time, that is.

The new guidelines state that customers will not be notified if there is a non-disclosure order with the search warrant or if "we believe in our sole discretion that such notice may pose immediate risk of serious injury or death to a member of the public or the case relates to a child endangerment matter."

Under the new terms, Apple has codified exactly how much data it stores and what it can hand over. For example, the company claims that it can't totally crack a password protected iPhone running iOS 4 or a later operating system, but it can extract user-generated active files in Apple's non-encrypted native apps.

In such circumstances, Apple says it would prefer law enforcement pop down to Cupertino personally to oversee data extraction, and warns them to bring their own FireWire-equipped hard drive (with at least twice the capacity of the phone) to collect any salvaged data. If the police send it in to Apple's HQ instead, they should include a suitably sized USB thumb drive.

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