Apple has taken exception to reports and claims circulating that accuse the company of installing a ‘back door’ in iOS, giving governments, hackers, and anyone else who knew about the hole access to over 600 million iOS devices.
Yesterday, news began circulating that security researcher, Jonathan Zdziarski, in a section of a presentation published online, proclaimed that the back door had no “known purposes’ and that the hole was a major security threat. “The personal nature of the data makes it very unlikely as a debugging mechanism,” according to the presentation slides.
Tim Cook responded to the claims today, adamantly denying that Apple Inc. has worked with law enforcement agencies to provide the back doors:
“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.”
Basically, what Tim Cook is saying is that the press is blowing this whole thing out of proportion for page views in a polite, PR friendly kind of way. If you give someone permission to access your phone, or unlock it for them, they’ll obviously have access to things they shouldn’t.
The presentation, given by Zdziarsky at the Hackers On Planet Earth (HOPE/X) conference, has raised some eyebrows, but without any further comment from Zdziarsky, trying to decipher what his keynote slides are saying is a bit difficult.
Breathe. No one really gives a shit what you do on your phone. Just don’t be an idiot with it and you’ll be fine.