Can company retrieve iMessages on employee phone?

pjny

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
737
133
Hi,

I know our company keeps logs of all emails sent by employees but was curious as to whether a company has access to iMessages an employee has sent or received if the provider is verizon or att?

i know imessages are encrypted and not sure if apple keeps a log on icloud of sent and received imessages. I know they are stored on the device but will they be accessible(off cloud0 if the device is restored?

Can company retrieve the imessage If SEND/RECEIVE option in imessages settings are set to the company phone number? Or is it better to use send/receive option to a personal email?

If the phone is restored is there anyway for company to look through old imessages?

Thanks.
 

LoveToMacRumors

macrumors 68020
Feb 15, 2015
2,397
1,933
Canada
Hi,

I know our company keeps logs of all emails sent by employees but was curious as to whether a company has access to iMessages an employee has sent or received if the provider is verizon or att?

i know imessages are encrypted and not sure if apple keeps a log on icloud of sent and received imessages. I know they are stored on the device but will they be accessible(off cloud0 if the device is restored?

Can company retrieve the imessage If SEND/RECEIVE option in imessages settings are set to the company phone number? Or is it better to use send/receive option to a personal email?

If the phone is restored is there anyway for company to look through old imessages?

Thanks.
Of course they can't....
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,173
13,003
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
Hi,

I know our company keeps logs of all emails sent by employees but was curious as to whether a company has access to iMessages an employee has sent or received if the provider is verizon or att?

i know imessages are encrypted and not sure if apple keeps a log on icloud of sent and received imessages. I know they are stored on the device but will they be accessible(off cloud0 if the device is restored?

Can company retrieve the imessage If SEND/RECEIVE option in imessages settings are set to the company phone number? Or is it better to use send/receive option to a personal email?

If the phone is restored is there anyway for company to look through old imessages?

Thanks.
You are mixing things up a bit.

First off, your carrier is irrelevant. All they see is data being used. That's because iMessages go through Apple's servers and NOT the carrier's servers.

Apple encrypts the data. Your iDevice has the key. Apple does not have the key. Hence, Apple cannot itself access your iMessages.

If your company has your Apple ID and password then, yes, they can access your data. If they require you to use a company provided Apple ID then most certainly they can see what you are doing. But if none of that is true, then no.

Being legally compelled by your company to provide your Apple ID and password is another matter.
 

willmtaylor

macrumors G4
Oct 31, 2009
10,189
7,720
Here(-ish)
(I'm assuming you're referring to a device provided to you by your company and not your personal device.)

It really depends on which enterprise MDM apps your company is using. Different apps have different privileges and features which can be enabled/disabled.

What MDM app system does your company use?
 
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pjny

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Feb 18, 2010
737
133
Thanks for the excellent explanation. I have my own apple id.

I know if I delete an imessage conversation it is still on the device.

So if I wipe the device can the company access the imessages if they log in using my apple id?

I am asking as I am curious as to how imessage retains messages on your device and on the cloud.


You are mixing things up a bit.

First off, your carrier is irrelevant. All they see is data being used. That's because iMessages go through Apple's servers and NOT the carrier's servers.

Apple encrypts the data. Your iDevice has the key. Apple does not have the key. Hence, Apple cannot itself access your iMessages.

If your company has your Apple ID and password then, yes, they can access your data. If they require you to use a company provided Apple ID then most certainly they can see what you are doing. But if none of that is true, then no.

Being legally compelled by your company to provide your Apple ID and password is another matter.
[doublepost=1492623908][/doublepost]
It really depends on which enterprise MDM apps your company is using. Different apps have different privileges and features which can be enabled/disabled.

What MDM app system does your company use?
we do not use an mdm app.
 
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eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,173
13,003
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
So if I wipe the device can the company access the imessages if they log in using my apple id?

I am asking as I am curious as to how imessage retains messages on your device and on the cloud.
If they have your Apple ID and password they can login.

If you have deleted content before they do that, it's gone. They won't see it. Just like you won't see it.

Beyond that we are dealing with data forensics which may or may not work depending on the importance/willingness to spend money your company may place upon the matter.
 

CTHarrryH

macrumors 68020
Jul 4, 2012
2,048
746
Most company supplied phones that I'm aware make you sign an agreement that says everything on it is available to them and you have to provide them access if they request. You can always quit and say you lost phone but...

I'd always assume that anything on a device like a mobile phone is available to anyone - if you don't want people to see don't put on your phone.
 

canvasback13

macrumors regular
Jul 5, 2011
125
107
my company says they can and do. They archive every text. In my industry our firms are required to keep copies of all written communications(financial industry). I think companies like mine are the extreme on this issue. our apple id on a work device had to be our work email. We don't even have access to the app store on a 6S. Company has total control of device.

for this reason i am a 2 phone guy.

Sorry, just saw original post. Not sure what they can see on an employee owned phone. Read the terms and conditions. if we use our own phones for work. They have the ability to unlock and inspect device with our our consent. How they accomplish that is not specified.
 
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iphonehype

macrumors 6502
Sep 14, 2012
499
84
1) If iPhone is rooted yes
2) They can decrypt and read messages over your companies Wi-Fi network whilst sending/receiving. Doubt they'll bother.

we've rolled out 2k iphones in our company, all managed by intune. dont care about data on iphone. all we care about is remote wipe when lost.
 

cobracnvt

macrumors 6502
Apr 6, 2017
276
114
Your phone backups likely contain your messages as well. If your company backs up your phone, or you back it up to a company computer, then there are additional copies of your messages out there.
 

I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,383
8,212
Gotta be in it to win it
????

How do you root an iPhone?

Or do you mean jailbroken? If jailbroken, then that is a narrow slice of iOS that would be running on corporate owned devices.
I would think most regulated companies make their employees sign agreements with corporate phones or byod phones not to modify the operating system. A breach could cost these companies dearly and as such I've seen language of terminating in these agreements.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,173
13,003
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
I would think most regulated companies make their employees sign agreements with corporate phones or byod phones not to modify the operating system. A breach could cost these companies dearly and as such I've seen language of terminating in these agreements.
I've never known any legitimate business to engage in jailbreaking and if they did they'd have only a small slice of devices and versions of iOS to choose from.

Including your statement then, all the way around, this would be a no-go.

Which is why I was curious about iphonehype's statement. I took iphonehype to mean that a company would purposely jailbreak an iDevice just so they could more easily capture messaging.
 
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I7guy

macrumors Core
Nov 30, 2013
20,383
8,212
Gotta be in it to win it
I've never known any legitimate business to engage in jailbreaking and if they did they'd have only a small slice of devices and versions of iOS to choose from.

Including your statement then, all the way around, this would be a no-go.

Which is why I was curious about iphonhype's statement. I took iphonehype to mean that a company would purposely jailbreak an iDevice just so they could more easily capture messaging.
Not the company jail breaking or rooting the device, the devices' primary user. Companies, obviously wouldn't allow devices within their "network " to be compromised.
 

se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
417
402
LA, CA
Apple encrypts the data. Your iDevice has the key. Apple does not have the key. Hence, Apple cannot itself access your iMessages.
Unless you use iCloud, then Apple has access to all the data stored there including iMessages.
 

se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
417
402
LA, CA
Access yes. The key to decrypt what they have - no.
If you backup to iCloud, Apple can absolutely decrypt everything there. iCloud is encrypted, but it's using Apple's own keys, therefore they can decrypt them. Look it up. Remember all those fiasco's about decrypting phones, look closely, Apple voluntarily admitted and offered law enforcement all data held on iCloud for those devices.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,173
13,003
ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
If you backup to iCloud, Apple can absolutely decrypt everything there. iCloud is encrypted, but it's using Apple's own keys, therefore they can decrypt them. Look it up. Remember all those fiasco's about decrypting phones, look closely, Apple voluntarily admitted and offered law enforcement all data held on iCloud for those devices.
So, essentially you are claiming that Apple is bald-faced lying to everyone when they claim they cannot decrypt iMessages?

Is that correct?
 

se1000

macrumors 6502
Sep 24, 2014
417
402
LA, CA
So, essentially you are claiming that Apple is bald-faced lying to everyone when they claim they cannot decrypt iMessages?

Is that correct?
They can't decrypt iMessages in transit, but they can decrypt them if you voluntarily use iCloud and backup those iMessages to it

https://arstechnica.com/apple/2012/04/apple-holds-the-master-key-when-it-comes-to-icloud-security-privacy/

https://www.recode.net/2016/3/2/11586620/mossberg-the-cloud-loophole

Same as the recode one but: https://www.macrumors.com/2016/03/02/icloud-backups-less-secure-for-restoring-data/
 
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