The content of messages exchanged using Apple’s iMessage platform is presumably encrypted and safe from the Cupertino company’s grasp. Who you talk with, on the other hand, is apparently fair game.
A report from The Intercept claims Apple keeps a log of phone numbers that are input to iMessage, information of which could potentially be shared with law enforcement should a court order be obtained. Apple responded to the report by confirming it keeps logs for 30 days.
The report claims when numbers are input to iMessage, Apple’s servers are contacted in order to determine whether a message should be sent using SMS or over Apple’s proprietary platform.
“Apple records each query in which your phone calls home to see who’s in the iMessage system and who’s not,” said The Intercept’s Sam Biddle, citing a document obtained by the website.
The data kept by Apple allegedly includes the date and time when a number was entered into your device, along with your IP address, according to the report. This data could potentially provide information on your location.
Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime are both protected by end-to-end encryption, which means nobody but the sender and receiver can read them. However, Apple is privy to who you may be talking with, which could be valuable information in the eyes of the law.
Check out The Intercept’s full report for the possible implications of these data logs and how law enforcement is educating employees on how to obtain this information through court orders.