Apple cancels its plans to fully encrypt backups after the FBI complains

(Last Updated On: January 23, 2020)

Apple has allegedly cancelled its plans to completely encrypt backups of users’ iPhones in iCloud after complaints arose from the FBI that this move would be damaging to investigations. 

The iPhone maker’s reversal had happened about two years ago and was not reported previously but currently, many sources that are familiar to the topic spoke to Reuters about the company’s previous encryption plans.

Current and former FBI officials and Apple employees said that over two years ago, the company had let the FBI know about the company’s plans to give its users end-to-end encryption when data is stored on the iCloud. The plans include that Apple does not have the accessibility to be able to unlock encrypted data and this is the reason why the company isn’t able to give materials to law enforcement even if it is under a court order. 

Although, Apple did say that the FBI’s rejected the plan as they argued that it would stop them from obtaining evidence against suspects.

Privately, Apple said that the end-to-end encryption plan had been cancelled after the FBI’s concerns had risen but why this happened has not been explained yet.

Sources say that the company was not willing to risk being under fire from public officials for protecting criminals, getting sued for making data out of reach to the government or even using an excuse to make up a new legislation against encryption.

Although, Apple does not allow criminal investigations to unlock iPhones, such as the case of the San Bernadino shooting back in 2016, its Cloud storage service can be searched secretly. Apple has also said that the company had turned over a minimum of 90% of the requests it had received.

Even though iCloud is not secured by end-to-end encryption, the company has moved towards focusing sensitive user information which includes saved passwords and health data.

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