As we all know very well that like WhatsApp chats, messages you send through iMessage are also encrypted from end to end, so that only the reciver and you (and not Apple or the FBI) can see them. But, recently it was found that Apple keeps track of everyone you try to chat with on iMessage.
Apple Tracks Who You’re Chatting Using iMessage
The Cupertino giant Apple has said on several occasions that it does not store the content of messages sent through its messaging service iMessage, and indeed would be useless if they did because this content is encrypted at the time it is sent from the iPhone itself, so that only the recipient and you (and not Apple or the FBI) can see them.
Basically, when you contact someone through messages, the application sends a request to Apple’s servers to see if that person has iMessage account. At that time, according to the intercept, Apple records the contact information whether it is in iMessage application or not and the date, time and IP can reveal your location.
According to internal documents obtained from the “Support Team of Electronic Surveillance” of the authorities of the Department of Florida (an agency that coordinates other bodies engaged in the cyber world), every SMS sent by this application of Apple triggers a query on the servers of the company.
After such consultation, the servers determine if the message should be sent via the SMS network, or through Apple’s proprietary (if the message appears in a green bubble then it is an SMS or a blue bubble then it is an iMessage), recording the results. A common record includes the phone number of the sender and receiver, the date and time, and IP address of the device.
In a statement, the company clarifies that such records are only stored for 30 days and then deleted. But he admits that the information they contain can reach the police with a court order by:
“When police present a warrant or court order, we provide the requested information if it is in our possession. Because iMessage has end-to-end encryption, we do not have access to the content of those communications. In some cases, we are able to provide data from server logs generated by users from accessing certain applications on their devices. We work closely with law enforcement to help them to understand what we can provide and make it clear that these records do not contain query the content of the conversations or prove that the communication is actually performed”.
However, the material obtained by the intercept suggests that Apple maintains a routine search of the telephone numbers of users who have ever used iMessage. By entering these numbers in other iOS applications, such as Contacts, they may end up appearing in the records.
As we told earlier that the tech giant Apple stores information known as “metadata” (without elaborating) for up to 30 days, but any court may extend this time. In fact, there would be no limit to this, because if a court deems it appropriate, it could force the company to extend this time months or even years.
This is once again the endless conflict emerged between privacy and security. How much are we willing to give the information needed to identify potentially dangerous citizens? Does it really affect us if such information is obtained? Share your views regarding this issue in the comment section below.