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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:36 PM   #1
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Apple and Google, Like Microsoft, Reserve Right to Read Customer Emails




Apple, Yahoo, and Google all have terms of service that allow them to read users' emails if necessary, according to research done by The Guardian. Apple's iCloud Terms and Conditions includes a clause that gives Apple permission to disclose Account information and Content, including iCloud email, when necessary by law, to address security, fraud, or technical issues, or to protect the rights and property of Apple.
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You acknowledge and agree that Apple may, without liability to you, access, use, preserve and/or disclose your Account information and Content to law enforcement authorities, government officials, and/or a third party, as Apple believes is reasonably necessary or appropriate, if legally required to do so or if we have a good faith belief that such access, use, disclosure, or preservation is reasonably necessary to: (a) comply with legal process or request; (b) enforce this Agreement, including investigation of any potential violation thereof; (c) detect, prevent or otherwise address security, fraud or technical issues; or (d) protect the rights, property or safety of Apple, its users, a third party, or the public as required or permitted by law.
Google, Yahoo, and Microsoft's terms of service all contain similar wording granting the technology companies unfettered access to content. The Guardian initially began investigating the rights of major companies to access user email after Microsoft looked through the personal Hotmail account of a blogger in order to discover the source of a Windows 8 leak.

Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo was found sending a tech blogger parts of Windows 8 code back in 2012, allowing the blogger to access screenshots of the operating system, which were then posted online. Microsoft fired Kibkalo, but its methods of discovery were questioned, prompting the company to make a statement on its investigation policies, pledging not to read customer emails except in circumstances where a court order would be justified and vowing to announce such searches in its bi-annual transparency report.

While it is Microsoft that's under fire for reading the email of its users, as mentioned above, Apple, Google, and Yahoo have the same rights to access content under questionable conditions. Apple does not mention whether or not it accesses iCloud email for non-security reasons in its own transparency reports and it is unclear whether the company has accessed private content in the search for leaks.

Apple is a notoriously secretive company, however, going to great lengths to protect its upcoming products. According to Apple CEO Steve Jobs, product secrecy is one of the specific tenets that has been responsible for Apple's success, and in 2012, Tim Cook said the company would "double down on secrecy on products."

Nevertheless, Apple has had a hard time keeping leaks under wraps. The iPhone 5s and the iPhone 5c were both unveiled long before their release, and more recently, some significant iOS 8 leaks have come to light.

Apple and Google both opted not to comment to The Guardian on the clauses in their Terms of Services, but all customers opt-in to possible searches when signing up for an email account with either company.

Article Link: Apple and Google, Like Microsoft, Reserve Right to Read Customer Emails
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:37 PM   #2
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I'd be surprised if they had agreements saying they don't read them and still did it anyway.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:37 PM   #3
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i don't care if they see mine. they will just see "newly single girls in my area DTF" spam messages
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:37 PM   #4
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If you read the EULA you'll find that they reserve the right to do plenty of things...
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:37 PM   #5
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I've said this over and over again but trust no one.

I'm writing letters dammit!
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:39 PM   #6
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Who cares? You cannot live your life in constant paranoia.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:39 PM   #7
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Obviously. If this is news to you, then get off the net. Go write your letters, because the post office can't open those right?
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:42 PM   #8
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how is that even legal? if my landlord were to put a clause in the contract to search my flat while i am gone it wouldnt mean a thing even if i signed it cuz its simply not allowed

and to the people saying "who cares" ugh ... its the first step into what SciFi movies r made off. reporter finds something out about xy - police state is going to delete all traces of it in the name of "national security". just take a look at Turkey

"busted for corruption. lol lets take down twitter"
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:43 PM   #9
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I have nothing to hide, and no legal reasons for them to read mine anyway. But of course people are going to get paranoid and freak out
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:43 PM   #10
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This really pisses me off. One of the reasons I use Apple over anyone else is because they are supposed to care about your privacy over all else. I like Tim overall but I'm a little perturbed by his diplomacy, and he's contradicting "Take us out in a box" statement.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:49 PM   #11
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MacRumors; are you frik'n kidding me?? This has been the case since the invention of "email".

----------

Meanwhile, in other news:

If police suspect you of a crime, they can actually arrest you.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:49 PM   #12
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reminds me the south park episode about it :X

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j72gx3OqnCM
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:50 PM   #13
/\/\
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Where is the problem? This doesn't surprise me. If I want to send secure messages I use https://gpgtools.org/keychain/index.html. Maybe that's not 100% secure, but this is the best I can do.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:51 PM   #14
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I feel sorry for them if they want to read my e-mails. Watching a sloth would be more interesting.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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As long as they don't turn me into a human centipad, I'm fine with whatever.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:53 PM   #16
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Yeah, it's not a "who cares" issue... but ....

IMO, it's more of a caution to people. The tools exist to prevent this from being a problem. ENCRYPT your email if the contents are important to be kept private!

Honestly, if you don't encrypt the contents, you simply don't know who might be looking at it. Apple, Google or anyone else could announce policies tomorrow promising they don't read your email. But that won't stop a rogue employee, in charge of working on the mail servers, from randomly looking at some of it. In fact, there may be instances where an email admin might look at some of it specifically to help fix mail routing issues. (Only interested in what's in the message headers, or looking to see if certain text is in there that's triggering a junk mail filter they're trying to tweak, or ??)

If the admin never admits to doing it, it "never happened" from the company's perspective -- yet someone DID in fact read your message.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bushido View Post
how is that even legal? if my landlord were to put a clause in the contract to search my flat while i am gone it wouldnt mean a thing even if i signed it cuz its simply not allowed

and to the people saying "who cares" ugh ... its the first step into what SciFi movies r made off. reporter finds something out about xy - police state is going to delete all traces of it in the name of "national security". just take a look at Turkey

"busted for corruption. lol lets take down twitter"
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:56 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyyankou View Post
I have nothing to hide, and no legal reasons for them to read mine anyway. But of course people are going to get paranoid and freak out
Quote:
Originally Posted by Klae17 View Post
Obviously. If this is news to you, then get off the net. Go write your letters, because the post office can't open those right?
Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbb4b View Post
MacRumors; are you frik'n kidding me?? This has been the case since the invention of "email".
Quote:
Originally Posted by Risco View Post
Who cares? You cannot live your life in constant paranoia.
Quote:
Originally Posted by /\/\ View Post
Where is the problem?
What's hilarious is the lemmings who don't want any privacy. Just because you have nothing of interest to others doesn't mean I want my privacy invaded, or that of my friends, or my family's.

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Last edited by theheadguy; Mar 21, 2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:58 PM   #18
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Email is a postcard. Did you ever really believe you had privacy? Don't say things in email, or on the phone, that you don't want known. Even the Mafia has known this for ages.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:58 PM   #19
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Yes, you can!

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Originally Posted by Risco View Post
Who cares? You cannot live your life in constant paranoia.
You've not met my brother-in-law.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 03:58 PM   #20
dannyyankou
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theheadguy View Post
What's hilarious is the lemmings who don't want any privacy. Just because your have nothing of interest to others doesn't mean I want my privacy invaded, or that of my friends, or my family's.

Image
And it's posts like these that make it sound like they're constantly looking over your shoulder reading through long lists of emails.

They won't check emails unless they have to comply with the law.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 04:00 PM   #21
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If Samsung had something similar, general madness and desperation would be all over.

But hey, it's Apple. All cool.

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Old Mar 21, 2014, 04:00 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Klae17 View Post
Obviously. If this is news to you, then get off the net. Go write your letters, because the post office can't open those right?
Based on your sarcasm you probably don't realize that letters sent via USPS do have more legal protection than e-mail.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 04:00 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by dannyyankou View Post
I have nothing to hide, and no legal reasons for them to read mine anyway. But of course people are going to get paranoid and freak out
or we know from history and are just very concerned and "anal" about those kind of things ever since over here (stasi in east germany for example)
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 04:01 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Risco View Post
Who cares? You cannot live your life in constant paranoia.
You're right, pretty soon airlines will include a clause in the fine print stating that they're not responsible for your in-flight disappearance.
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Old Mar 21, 2014, 04:01 PM   #25
Ezlivin
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What about encryption?

If you were to use PGP to encrypt/decrypt your messages, wouldn't this restore your privacy?

Note: I understand that if the NSA "has it in" for you that they'll probably be able to crack it. But you'll make those dudes work for it.
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