iphone security gap
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No need to worry about the feds hacking your iPhone and finding those holiday snaps you were hiding from your partner. After several high-profile battles between law enforcement, hired hackers and Apple the backdoor into iPhones will be slammed shut. But don’t expect the cops to be happy about not being able to take advantage of the iPhone security gap.

So what’s going on?

Apple is closing an iPhone security gap that allowed outsiders to pry personal information from locked iPhones without a password.

The change will thwart law enforcement agencies that exploited the vulnerability to collect evidence in criminal investigations.

fbi officer with laptop

How will Apple close the iPhone security gap?

The loophole will be shut down in a forthcoming update to Apple’s iOS software, which powers iPhones.

Once fixed, iPhones will no longer be vulnerable to intrusion via the Lightning port used both to transfer data and to charge iPhones. The port will still function after the update, but will shut off data an hour after a phone is locked.

Apple said it respects the jobs of law enforcement officials, but believes it must protect its customers from “hackers, identity thieves and intrusions into their personal data”.

student using smartphone app at train station iPhone battery slowdown updateAnd quite right to. Or is it? The ethical debate about whether law enforcement agencies should be able to access the phones of suspected crims is an emotive one. Plenty of people think ‘if you haven’t anything to hide why worry?’ Or ‘if you’ve committed a crime you lose all your rights to privacy.’ I must admit this is my point of view.

Of course those worried about personal freedom and big brother are firmly against the authorities being able to access personal data. It’s a toughie.

Where do you stand? Let us know in the comments box below.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. The problem with the phrase “if you’ve nothing to hide, why worry”, is an emotive one, as it says that you should forgo privacy in order to be considered innocent. The inverse also has connotations of being guilty, why use a VPN on your phone or computer, if you aren’t doing something nefarious.

    The issue is that you are more likely to fall foul of a miscreant who is trying to use your lack of privacy for a monetary gain, than become someone who the police would be interested in. Lets face it, people who the police want to know what they are up to, aren’t going to be using Facebook, or Whatsapp, they’ll be using some application which goes under the radar in terms of leaving a digital footprint.

    The capture and trawling of digital information leads to a lazy police force, it is far easier to nab someone for posting something they shouldn’t on Facebook, than it is to track down someone who has physically violated your privacy. But given the option between the two, which one would you rather they investigated?

  2. ‘if you haven’t anything to hide why worry?’

    The families of Damilola Taylor, Stephen Lawrence, Milly Dowler etc etc thought they had nothing to hide, until the police and newpapers abused their power to make their already devastated lives a living hell.

    Animal rights activists, NHS demonstrators, civil rights campaigners; the list of innocent people who have had their privacy abused by the police and others goes on and on. That is why we need laws that protect people.

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