In a statement emailed directly to Financial Times journalist Tim Bradshaw Apple has strongly denied working alongside any government agency with the intention of creating backdoor access in any of its products or services. You may have been a little concerned to read a presentation from iOS Security Researcher Jonathan Zdziarski earlier this week that claimed Apple had purposely created backdoor entries that would allow various sets of system and user data to be accessible without the need to authenticate via the usual means. The intricacies and merits of that report are still regarded as questionable at best, but while additional investigation into the claims is being carried out Apple have acted quickly to deny any wrongdoing whatsoever.
The security and integrity of the data that we trust to our mobile devices is on an ongoing basis is rightly an extremely important topic. As devices become more and more capable with each generational release it’s logical to assume that they will become vital parts of our daily professional and personal lives; even more so than they are now. Zdziarski’s report, which was presented to the HOPE/X conference in New York, managed to ruffle a few feathers by suggesting that iOS contained a number of suspicious background services that could potentially expose a user’s clipboard, voicemail, calendar, notebook and address book data without the need for authentication.
As part of its almost immediate response to the situation, Apple has not only reaffirmed its previous statements that the company has not worked with any government agencies to expose data, but goes a step further in an attempt to clarify the background services that have been brought to the public’s attention:
We have designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues. A user must have unlocked their device and agreed to trust another computer before that computer is able to access this limited diagnostic data. The user must agree to share this information, and data is never transferred without their consent.
As we have said before, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products of services.
So there you have it. Apple’s official response on the subject. Is the word of the fruit company enough to satisfy your concerns as an iOS user? Or do we need more transparent investigation into the matter?