TECH

Apple Won't Unlock iOS 8 Phones For The Police. Ever.

18/09/2014 11:04 BST | Updated 18/09/2014 11:59 BST

The iPhone 6 comes with one feature that went largely ignored at the unveiling last week: privacy.

Apple has confirmed that a change at the core of iOS 8 means that it won't - in fact, can't - unlock iPhones for the police even if they have a warrant.

The company said on Wednesday that it would not unlock most devises or open up your personal details.

Apple also provided a guide to privacy, and managing how you share your data.

"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," the company said.

"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 said that it had not and will never create a "backdoor" for governments to access data, in the wake of revelations about US government spying based on the Edward Snowden leaks.

Tim Cook, Apple CEO, said in a statement:

"We're publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don't collect, and why. We're going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you're not the customer. You're the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn't come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don't build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don't "monetize" the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don't read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple."