Apple warns of potential FaceTime and iMessage removal in UK amid proposed changes to IPA 2016

Apple stated that the IPA 2016 proposals may remove security safeguards, potentially impacting iPhone customers’ privacy. The company warns that if proposals are implemented it could lead to the closure of services like FaceTime and iMessage in the UK.

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Apple expressed concerns about the proposed changes to UK’s Investigatory Powers Act 2016 (IPA) because they may force them to remove security safeguards, which might impact iPhone customers’ privacy. As a result, Apple stated that if such proposals are enacted into law, it could lead the company to close its services like FaceTime and iMessage in the UK.

Essentially, the proposals in IPA would permit the UK Home Office to access encrypted content via technology capability notices (TCN) while also mandating operators to notify Home Office of any security changes to a service that could negatively impact any investigation process. Apple expressed its concerns and stated that these proposals would oversee iOS software updates and that security features would be immediately blocked instead of letting the feature be used pending an appeal.

Apple claims that it has never used a ‘backdoor’ into its products for government use and that these legislative proposals would force the company to withdraw critical security features from the UK market. Apple also stated that the proposals would place them in a dilemma: either comply with a Home Office mandate to secretly insert vulnerabilities into new security technologies (which Apple rejects) or abandon the development altogether, leaving users’ data security at risk.