A week after we discussed the lack of privacy in Google’s Allo messaging app, a report made by The Intercept details how Apple’s iMessage service can send information about people you’re in contact with to law enforcement.

As soon as you begin entering a phone number in iMessage, Apple’s servers immediately begin logging the IP address and metadata of your contact person and your own. The host has to do this in order to check if that specific number has an iMessage account. If not, the messages will be sent through SMS instead. All that sounds trivial, but the issue lies in the length this data is stored.

The information, together with the exact time and date you inputted them, will be readily available in Apple’s servers for 30 days. The police or any government agency may then ask for the data with a valid court order.

You might now be asking: Aren’t all my messages encrypted and protected by Apple’s privacy policy? Yes, definitely, but that doesn’t include your contacts, whether or not you actually sent them a message.

The original source appears reliable. The Intercept claims the information comes from the Florida Department of Law Enforcement’s Electronic Surveillance Support Team, which is a “state police agency that facilitates police data collection using controversial tools like the Stingray, along with conventional techniques like pen registers.”

It’s not as bad as you’d think; if you’re clear of any criminal deeds, you shouldn’t have to worry about using iMessage — or any messaging service for that matter. As proven by the NSA debacle a few years ago, nothing online is truly private, so don’t stop messaging unless you’re guilty of something illegal.

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Source: The Intercept