Normally, if government agencies found any devices of the suspects, they will try to get the data from the device with the help of companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google and others. These companies will be able to obtain user data like photos, call logs, etc, which are not encrypted and stored on these devices. These data in turn help the cops and other government agencies in finding evidence against these suspects. With the recent iOS 8 update, Apple has now made it impossible to obtain user data. They have started using data encryption for all the data stored in the device and the encryption key involves user’s pass code.
On devices running iOS 8, your personal data such as photos, messages (including attachments), email, contacts, call history, iTunes content, notes, and reminders is placed under the protection of your passcode. Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data. So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8.
Apple also mentioned that they have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a “back door” in any of their products or services. The problem with Apple’s current data protection implementation is that it protects criminals from getting caught with the possible evidence in their devices. I personally feel that there should be a way for government agencies to access the data in user’s devices if needed. There should be a legal team inside companies like Microsoft that carefully reviews each request, ensuring it is accompanied by valid legal process like whether content requests has proper search warrant and others. If it is legal, then they should hand over the data to the government agencies with a notice to the user.
Do you think Microsoft should follow Apple’s policy in data protection on Windows Phone devices?