As is always the case at McAfee Media Solutions, we believe in strong protections for personal privacy. When companies and governments won’t provide the privacy needed, we create it ourselves.
Apple published its yearly Transparency report this week and had a surprising uptick in the number of devices and user data requests from governments.
Overall, the tech company received 32k demands from governments on 163k devices and granted access in 25.5k cases. While Apple CEO, Tim Cook, still holds that “Privacy to us is a human right, a civil liberty,” it raises some questions about what the company can’t tell us about requests.
If you’re not familiar with privacy issues surrounding digital communications, you may not understand the danger of things like FISA courts and National Security Letters. In both of these cases, a telecom or digital communications platform can be secretly ordered by American courts to provide copies of your data, metadata, and chat/text/call logs. And these orders come with a special caveat, their not allowed to tell you who asked for, why they asked for it, or even let you know that it happened.
In these cases, your entire private life is being given over to a government entity and you don’t even have a right to know that its happened, much less that you are under investigation.
But, there’s an answer to this issue. Simply put? Encryption.
Though Apple has frequently claimed that they don’t have access to the contents of iClouds, we believe with the great number of people they serve, and the vast amounts of data they store, that this is unlikely.
Luckily, we have options. Check out Signal messaging app. Available on Windows, MacOS, Android, and iOS, this simple tool uses keys that only you ever have access too and ensures that your data and conversations stay encrypted from end-to-end. Additionally, check out services like BoxCryptor or VeraCrypt to encrypt and store things before putting them in DropBox, Google Drive, or your iCloud.
Need training or a more personal touch on making sure you stay safe on the web? Contact us via phone or email and one of our friendly neighborhood technicians will be glad to meet with you and discuss how you can stay safe in the digital realm!
Photo Courtesy of BlueCoat.com