A Russian software and digital forensic company ElcomSoft Co. Ltd. has claimed that the iPhone manufacturer Apple secretly uploads data from users through its iCloud service. This is a clear breach of privacy, many users have complained. This also poses many security risks to iPhone users.
According to the press release of the company, “Apple automatically uploads iPhone call logs to Apple’s remote servers. Call logs can be stored on Apple’s servers for months, and there is no option for the end user to disable this sync without disabling iCloud entirely on their device.”
The iCloud service is supposed to store your data in the cloud. All your photos, music, videos, documents and contacts can be saved in iCloud either manually or automatically. Everybody knows that the iCloud service is for that and nobody has a problem with that. The problem is that iCloud also saves, automatically, the call history of its users. It saves the phone metadata, according to this Consumerist update, to its cloud service. What’s alarming is, there is no way to turn off this feature or rather, this vulnerability. The call data being stored includes the numbers you are calling to, when you are making your calls and for how long your calls last. You shouldn’t be surprised if one day you find that these companies have also been storing the recordings of your entire conversations. This is because when you make calls using Apple’s FaceTime, your video and audio calls are also saved and they have been saved since March 2015.
So, um, when your iPhone has iCloud turned on, it sends your call records to Apple. Just so you know. https://t.co/TmTfikJFqk
— consumerist (@consumerist) November 19, 2016
The security firm that has outed this information says that even the third-party apps like Skype and WhatsApp are vulnerable to this feature on your iPhone.
What’s the problem in Apple saving this data? Don’t telephone carriers save the call records?
Yes, for telephone carriers it is legal to save call records for a few months, but Apple is not a telephone carrier. It’s a device maker. The phone maker has not revealed to its users that when people use iPhones their call records will be saved. But not just the telephone conversations, if you have been using FaceTime, Skype and WhatsApp your conversations might be stored somewhere, unbeknownst to you, ready to be exploited by hackers.