Can my company read my iMessages?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by EK23, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. EK23 macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2012
    I have a company issued iPhone and I use iMessage a lot. My company has issued a directive that employees can use iMessage since it doesn't cost anything.

    However, my brother has a tendency, no matter how many times I yell at him, to message me inappropriate things. He says that iMessages are stored on apples servers and even my company, who owns the phone and pays the bill, can not see the messages.

    Is he correct?
  2. monkeybagel macrumors 65816

    Jul 24, 2011
    United States
  3. DayOfChaos macrumors 6502

    Nov 13, 2011
    Technically, not even Apple can see your messages.
  4. EK23 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2012
  5. TheProFTW macrumors regular

    Jun 27, 2013
    Washington, DC
    I wonder what your brother texts you..

    Hope your boss doesn't see it (He/She would have to see it personally tho)
  6. chumawumba macrumors 6502


    Aug 9, 2012
    Ask the NSA
    I heard a while back that the encryption Apple uses is so secure that not even the government can decrypt iMessages.
  7. mentaluproar macrumors 68000


    May 25, 2010
    Ohio, USA
    I wouldn't risk it. iMessage can be wonky, and sometimes reverts to regular text messaging. Either way, the content is decoded the second it hits your phone so all they have to do it plug it into a computer and they could see everything.
  8. scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    I can see two possible ways that your employer or someone else might be able to see your messages:

    1. The iPhone was jailbroken by the company before they handed it to you, and installed tracking software, or

    2. They somehow have your iCloud login username and password... in which case they could log in via a mac or other iDevice and see all your iMessage conversations.

    Those are the only ways. #1 could be fixed pretty easily by wiping the phone and restoring from scratch. #2 is fixed by just changing your iCloud password.

    Your brother really needs to grow up though. What if he sends you porn while you're in a meeting? Anyone glancing at your phone's screen would know what it is, and if someone glancing at it happens to be sensitive/whiny enough to be offended over it, then you've got an HR nightmare on your hands.
  9. bigMAC28 macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2012

    Sorry but this doesn't cover all the possible ways. My company is rolling out something called MobileIron, it is a software that allows them to read text messages as well as anything else on the phone. Whats funny is that they want to install it on my personal phone( they took over the contract). I am trying to fight it.
  10. fedecape macrumors 6502


    Oct 23, 2011
    Miami, FL
    As long as the Apple ID / iCloud account you are using for iMessage is private and only yours, nobody can see anything.
  11. sjinsjca macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2008
    Hope you can avoid that creepy outcome. But if the company is paying for the device they legally and ethically have a claim to its use.
  12. scaredpoet, Jul 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2013

    scaredpoet macrumors 604


    Apr 6, 2007
    MobileIron doesn't list eavesdropping on text messages as a feature. Though it does permit things like regulating what apps can be installed and enforcement of specific policies. If anything, it looks like the same thing you can do on MS Exchange, or even through the iPhone configuration utility... only they're paying someone else extra cash to do be able to it. Basically, your employer is getting duped into a service they could probably deploy on their own with the software they already have available to them. Someone in your IT department is lazy.

    Furthermore, a little Googling brought up this policy document from a company that's deployed MobileIron, and it states pretty clearly what it can and can't do:

    "...we can see your security settings, phone serial number, jail broken status and the list of applications on your phone. We cannot see any of your personal files or data for your applications. This means we cannot see your pictures, music, files, personal contacts, notes in your notepad, etc. In addition, we cannot read your personal emails or any text messages you send."

    One thing to be concerned about though: MobileIron CAN be used to track your phone's location... and by extension, your location. But, the app follows the same rules all other iOS apps: you can disable location tracking for MobileIron in Settings.

    In any case, it still falls under "they have to install something on your phone." They're going to have to physically take your phone and install MobileIron on there before they can start any monitoring.

    Also: you probably shouldn't have let them take over your account. If they're paying the bills, they have a lot of leverage on what they do, and if the phone is subsidized under that contract, then the ownership of the device is now in doubt, too. Your company might think that your phone is theirs now.
  13. Dannel macrumors member

    Jul 5, 2013
    It is your privacy and no one can see it. Rest assured!
  14. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    You are too qucik to believe someone you do not know in this forum!

    I would not assume that your company can not read your messages. If the government can, they can too!:rolleyes:
  15. inselstudent macrumors 6502a

    Jul 27, 2012
    In the light of the recently revealed NSA affairs, I don't trust Apple even if they say not even they can decrypt iMessages.
  16. EK23 thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 26, 2012

    The iMessages that concerned me were naked pictures of a girl he had been with the night before.

    He also has a tendency to string together sentences that would make a sailor blush. Admittedly, those don't concern me as much of the nudes.


    When they sent me the new phone it came directly from Verizon via Fedex and it was sealed up.

    I set up my own ICloud and iTunes account so I don't think that is an issue.


    I wasn't quick to assume anything. I'd done a fair amount of googling before posting here and the all of the answer generally follows the same path.

    I used the folks here as reassurance since they generally know more about apple products than most of the people that work for apple.

    As for the government, I don't care. If the want to see my brother's latest conquest, they can feel free. If they need to see a forty-chain text back and forth between my wife and I as to where she'd like to eat dinner, suit yourself. I'm concerned about my livelihood, not about the government.
  17. mlmwalt macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2010
    Philadelphia, Pa, USA
    You need to act as if they can see them. Most companies understand that you can't stop people from sending you stuff, but they probably won't like it if you're forwarding the offensive stuff or sending your own offensive stuff.
  18. LaunchpadBS macrumors 6502a

    Nov 11, 2008
    Hahahaha of COURSE they can, it's a message going though a portal that's unencrypted, ever look at a backup? You can see everything.

    Whatsapp is well known to be the only secure messaging system, as it's encrypted, but that said you can still see the media if you have a look at the backup.
  19. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Don't use your work phone for personal texts, problem solved.
  20. CTHarrryH macrumors 68000

    Jul 4, 2012
    Not that I have the problem with a brother or anyone else but this type of issue is why I don't use my personal phone for business as much as my company would like me to (so they save money). I don't use my company laptop for personal use either although I have nothing bad to hide.

    I always laugh at people who complain that someone stole their phone and the naked pictures of themselves on it. Why would you take those pictures and a phone is probably the easiest lost/stolen device in the world and thus the least secure.
    I'd get a new brother and a personal phone and not give him the number to either.
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    I agree with this. Also, I would delete the offending texts as soon as you see them.
  22. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    What portal would that be (especially one that the employer would somehow have access to)? What backup are we talking about (again, that an employer would have access to)? And iMessages are actually encrypted.
  23. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    This is where we differ as I DO care about the government and what they are doing.:mad:
  24. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Oct 17, 2011
    Given the way iMessage encryption is implemented, has it been shown that the government, let alone some random company, can read iMessages?
  25. Lucille Carter macrumors 65816

    Jul 3, 2013
    No but just because it has not been "shown" does not mean it is not possible.

    I am betting that if the NSA wanted to know, they do. Apple would do what ever they wanted to help.

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