*iPhones Secretly Send Call History to Apple, Security Firm Says

by Kim Zetter   …..

Apple emerged as a guardian of user privacy this year after fighting FBI demands to help crack into San Bernardino shooter Syed Rizwan Farook’s iPhone. The company has gone to great lengths to secure customer data in recent years, by implementing better encryption for all phones and refusing to undermine that encryption.

But private information still escapes from Apple products under some circumstances. The latest involves the company’s online syncing service iCloud.

Russian digital forensics firm Elcomsoft has found that Apple’s mobile devices automatically send a user’s call history to the company’s servers if iCloud is enabled — but the data gets uploaded in many instances without user choice or notification.

“You only need to have iCloud itself enabled” for the data to be sent, said Vladimir Katalov, CEO of Elcomsoft.

The logs surreptitiously uploaded to Apple contain a list of all calls made and received on an iOS device, complete with phone numbers, dates and times, and duration. They also include missed and bypassed calls. Elcomsoft said Apple retains the data in a user’s iCloud account for up to four months, providing a boon to law enforcement who may not be able to obtain the data either from the user’s phone, if it’s encrypted with an unbreakable passcode, or from the carrier. Although large carriers in the U.S. retain call logs for a year or more, this may not be the case with carrier outside the US.

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*Apple Tracks Who You’re Chatting Using iMessage — and Shares that Data with Police

By Swati Khandewal …..

Doing conversations with your friend on iMessage and thinking that they are safe and out of reach from anyone else other than you and your friend? No, it’s not. End-to-end encryption doesn’t mean that your iMessages are secure enough to hide your trace because Apple not only stores a lot of information about your iMessages that could reveal your contacts and location, but even share that information with law enforcement via court orders. According to a new document obtained by The Intercept, Apple records a log of which phone numbers you typed into their iPhone for a message conversation, along with the date and time when you entered those numbers as well as your IP address, which could be used to identify your location.

Actually, every time a user type a phone number into their iPhone for a message conversation, iMessage contacts Apple servers to find out whether to route a given message over the iMessage system.

“Apple records each query in which your phone calls home to see who’s in the iMessage system and who’s not,” The Intercept reports.

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*Apple patents technology to remotely disable your iPhone’s ability to record

by Swati Khandelwal  …..

Here’s something you’ll not like at all: Apple has been awarded a patent for technology that would prevent you from snapping pictures and shooting videos with your iPhone or iPad in a public location such as public gatherings, police stops, concerts or museums, restaurants or any other place where it might be prohibited or inappropriate by someone. The patent, granted on Tuesday by the United States Patents and Trademark Office, is highly technical.

Apple’s latest patent describes an iPhone or iPad camera receiving coded infrared signals beamed from emitters in public places would temporarily disable device camera functionality, preventing any photography or recording for as long as the signal is on.

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