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Apple’s Message app tracks all your contacts
Another privacy issue for Apple as allegations on Messages logging all your contacts reached by the app seems to be messed up. Is it all true?
Messages, Apple’s SMS proprietary app have many great features and gimmicks like the overlays and stickers. It was brought bundled with the new iOS 10. However, you may want to reconsider using this app if you want a completely discreet chats with your contact list.
Previously known as iMessages, Messages is said to be used by Apple to log contacts reached using this app. This apparently allows the company and law enforcement agencies to get into who you have texted in the past. Now, that’s a shocker.
The report is based on a document provided to The Intercept by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team, which details to law enforcement what kind of information can be successfully subpoenaed from a suspect’s iPhone.
On the more positive side, these logged information won’t contain and won’t be extracted with the contents of the messages. However, it will still show the phone numbers that Messages attempted to get in touch with. Not only that, also the time and date of the messages and most probably the location using the IP address.
Why do Apple have this feature?
Apple seems to be using this feature (which we didn’t know existed until now) to check if an SMS or chat is sent to another Messages user. If this is the case, Messages will enable special features of the app. The difference can be seen through various colors sported by chat bubbles inside Messages. Blue means both users use Messages, green means normal SMS apps and services are used.
Apple says these logs are deleted after 30 days, though any repeated interaction with new members in your contacts list – or any other iOS app with similar access to the servers – may refresh the saved information.
Is it legal?
It is very normal for phone carriers to record contact information of all its users and they can surrender information to law enforcers who have proper warrants to do so.
Maybe we can take Apple’s word on privacy from last year while they are promoting Messages as a more advanced option compared to conventional SMS texting. However, if you are unsure of this news and wants more updates, you still have other options you can use: Whatsapp, Facebook Messenger, and Allo. You choose.