Back in July, forensic scientist and author Jonathan Zdziarski claimed that iOS 7 included backdoor security mechanisms to “ensure that it can access data on end-user devices on behalf of law enforcement.”
Apple quickly denied these claims, saying they had “designed iOS so that its diagnostic functions do not compromise user privacy and security, but still provides needed information to enterprise IT departments, developers and Apple for troubleshooting technical issues.”
Regardless, many of the issues cited by Zdziarski have now been addressed in iOS 8 GM, which should be good news for privacy advocates.
The scientist offers plenty of insight on what he found in his lengthy post.
It is summarized as follows:
It appears that the threat of persistent wireless surveillance – my biggest concern – has been addressed in iOS 8. While I’m not yet sure how they now control access to these deeper functions, at the very least it doesn’t look like they are so widely open to abuse as they were in iOS 7. Props to Apple for tackling a very complex and subtle problem that was difficult to explain.
Apple is planning to release iOS 8 to the public on Wednesday, Sept. 17.
First unveiled in June, iOS 8 features new Photos and Health apps, improved iMessages, and much more.