Not a movie plot, but reality. Apple admits iPhone users are being spied on via push notifications

Not a movie plot, but reality. Apple admits iPhone users are being spied on via push notifications

December 8, 07:06 Share:

Apple admits to surveillance via push notifications (Photo: pexels/thiago japyassu)

Apple has confirmed that foreign governments were spying on users using data it provided about push messages sent to their iPhone.

Details of such cooperation were revealed this week by US Senator Ron Wyden, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.. In a letter to the US Department of Justice, he claimed that in the spring of 2022 he received a message that. that government agencies in other countries require Google and Apple to provide smartphone push notification data, and decided to check it out. Wyden also claimed that both Apple and Google, as operating system providers, refused to comment to him about this information, noting that the release of details was impossible due to restrictions from the US government.

After the practice of sharing push notification data with governments was exposed, Apple confirmed that this happened. The company said it would start including data on this in its transparency reports.

“Apple is committed to transparency, and we have long supported efforts to ensure that vendors can disclose as much information as possible to their users.. In this case, the federal government prohibited us from sharing any information, and now that this method has become public, we are updating our transparency reports to detail such requests,” the company noted in a comment to 9to5mac.

As such, Apple has admitted that it previously did not fully disclose information in its annual transparency reports, in which it discloses what customer data it shares with governments and law enforcement.

Let us remind you that push notifications, which provide the ability to preview messages without opening programs, are not sent to users’ smartphones directly from the program provider. Instead, they are processed by the respective operating system vendor services ( Apple's Push Notification and Google's Firebase Cloud Messaging for Android phones). At the same time, some push notifications are encrypted, so Apple and Google do not receive information about the contents of messages from them. For example, this applies to notifications from end-to-end encrypted messengers like WhatsApp and iMessage.

However, push message data, even if it does not reveal the full content, can provide governments with a lot of potentially useful information.. For example, messages from taxi or food delivery services may reveal addresses. In addition, from information about push notifications, you can find out how actively the user corresponded in instant messengers on a given day.

Previously, NV Techno wrote that previewing messages on the iPhone lock screen can be dangerous due to the potential for receiving confidential information from correspondence to unauthorized persons. Step-by-step instructions will help correct the situation.