iMessage and your carrier

andyx3x

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Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
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I have a question. I am on T-Mobile prepaid so I am unable to get this information because it isn't provided to prepaid customers.

To those of you on Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, do you see either on your statement or your online account the numbers that you either send or receive an iMessage. Is this trackable in any way for you?

Thanks.
 

Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
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New Zealand
I can't answer for those operators specifically but I'd be very surprised if they do the "deep inspection" required for such a statement. I certainly don't get anything of the sort here with Telecom NZ.
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
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iMessages go through Apple servers, not your carrier. If you aren't on WiFi that would require your carrier to be monitoring your cellular data traffic for specific data packets that indicate iMessage. If you are on WiFi, your carrier won't ever see it. So, other than data passing through, reported to you as megabytes used on your plan, the chances that your carrier knows anything about your iMessages is minimal to none.

At least Sprint never reports how many iMessages I send. They can't. It's just data, not a text message (although iMessage acts like texting).
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
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iMessages go through Apple servers, not your carrier. If you aren't on WiFi that would require your carrier to be monitoring your cellular data traffic for specific data packets that indicate iMessage. If you are on WiFi, your carrier won't ever see it. So, other than data passing through, reported to you as megabytes used on your plan, the chances that your carrier knows anything about your iMessages is minimal to none.

At least Sprint never reports how many iMessages I send. They can't. It's just data, not a text message (although iMessage acts like texting).
So if you called Sprint they could probably send you a list of the numbers that you sent and received regular text message to but not any iMessages, correct?
 

ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
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Los Angeles, CA
So if you called Sprint they could probably send you a list of the numbers that you sent and received regular text message to but not any iMessages, correct?
Technically yes. But good luck getting anyone to release that kind of info to you without a warrant.

Btw, what did you do? Just wondering...
 

Diseal3

macrumors 65816
Jun 29, 2008
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I have a question. I am on T-Mobile prepaid so I am unable to get this information because it isn't provided to prepaid customers.

To those of you on Verizon, AT&T or Sprint, do you see either on your statement or your online account the numbers that you either send or receive an iMessage. Is this trackable in any way for you?

Thanks.
No. iMessage goes through Apple servers. Carrier's are not in the loop. Which is why law enforcement are getting their knickers in a knot.
 

bozzykid

macrumors 68020
Aug 11, 2009
2,177
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Technically yes. But good luck getting anyone to release that kind of info to you without a warrant.

Btw, what did you do? Just wondering...
Technically no since iMessages are encrypted. Your carrier can't get access to that information even with a warrant.
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
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Technically yes. But good luck getting anyone to release that kind of info to you without a warrant.

Btw, what did you do? Just wondering...
Nothing illegal. Just use your imagination about someone asking whether iMessages can be tracked. You can probably figure it out.

I know if you call your cell phone provider and say to them "I texted someone at 1pm yesterday but lost their number", the cell phone provider can then give you that number. You folks are saying if it's sent via iMessage, they don't have that info, correct? Only if it's via a regular SMS, right?
 

eyoungren

macrumors Core
Aug 31, 2011
21,332
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I know if you call your cell phone provider and say to them "I texted someone at 1pm yesterday but lost their number", the cell phone provider can then give you that number. You folks are saying if it's sent via iMessage, they don't have that info, correct? Only if it's via a regular SMS, right?
I've never done that, but I suppose if I wanted to they might have the info. Sprint just lists the amount of text messages I've sent. No phone numbers.

As to iMessage, no they don't have that info. iMessage can be sent to a phone number OR an email address OR both. I use iMessage on a WiFi only 3GS using an email address. I've iMessaged my friends in the UK and Australia that way before I got my iPhone 5. With my iPhone 5 I use my phone number. If you want any of that info, and someone has already mentioned that it's encrypted, you would have to call Apple. The only part your carrier has in this, when an iMessage is sent over cellular, is simply delivering the data to Apple's servers. That's it.

iMessages are just data, not text messages (which go through the carrier's network).
 
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madsci954

macrumors 68030
Oct 14, 2011
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Ohio
Nothing illegal. Just use your imagination about someone asking whether iMessages can be tracked. You can probably figure it out.
When people ask questions like this, I think either 1) the asking party did something illegal and they want to cover their tracks or 2) their significant other could be doing something questionable and the asking party wants hard proof of it.

The OP denied 1) so it must be 2) But that's just me and my crazy imagination and low faith in humanity :eek:
 

dave420

macrumors 65816
Jun 15, 2010
1,405
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When people ask questions like this, I think either 1) the asking party did something illegal and they want to cover their tracks or 2) their significant other could be doing something questionable and the asking party wants hard proof of it.

The OP denied 1) so it must be 2) But that's just me and my crazy imagination and low faith in humanity :eek:
I don't think there is a big conspiracy theory. My bill from AT&T lists every number I send a call or SMS. I'm sure there are lots of people who don't know all the technical details that wonder why iMessages don't show up on their bill with calls and texts.
 

andyx3x

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Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
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I don't think there is a big conspiracy theory. My bill from AT&T lists every number I send a call or SMS. I'm sure there are lots of people who don't know all the technical details that wonder why iMessages don't show up on their bill with calls and texts.
But doesn't list iMessage numbers correct?
 

SAD*FACED*CLOWN

macrumors 65816
Apr 5, 2010
1,342
1
Houston, TX
Technically yes. But good luck getting anyone to release that kind of info to you without a warrant.

Btw, what did you do? Just wondering...
you don't need a warrant to get a list of numbers YOU'VE been charged for sending texts to....AT&T makes this information readily availiable in a "detailed billing statement"
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
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you don't need a warrant to get a list of numbers YOU'VE been charged for sending texts to....AT&T makes this information readily availiable in a "detailed billing statement"
We're talking iMessages here, not regular SMS messages.
 

ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
1,813
217
Los Angeles, CA
Technically no since iMessages are encrypted. Your carrier can't get access to that information even with a warrant.
I was talking about text messages, not iMessages.
Nothing illegal. Just use your imagination about someone asking whether iMessages can be tracked. You can probably figure it out.

I know if you call your cell phone provider and say to them "I texted someone at 1pm yesterday but lost their number", the cell phone provider can then give you that number. You folks are saying if it's sent via iMessage, they don't have that info, correct? Only if it's via a regular SMS, right?
Hmm... Let my imagination runs wild with theories?

Your boss has been stealing money from clients and you have proof. You've secretly been in touch with the SEC via text message. But now you think your boss, and his arsenal of trained assassins, are on to you, so you're scared for your life.

You masterminded a crime, and using your covert ninja moves at a club full of drunk partiers, you were able to send implicit details of your plans to members of your team by using other peoples' cell phones without them knowing about it. Now you've deleted any trace of the texts, and if anyone comes searching, they won't be able to pin it on you.

But yeah, it's most probably booty calls, and you dont want your significant other to know.
you don't need a warrant to get a list of numbers YOU'VE been charged for sending texts to....AT&T makes this information readily availiable in a "detailed billing statement"
Depends on the CSR you talk to, but unless you've got the SSN associated with the account, it's unlikely they will willingly share any account related information with you over the phone.
 

Beelzbub

macrumors 6502
Feb 6, 2012
320
87
iMessage is data only. Even though you can send to another phone number, Apple's servers know that the other end receiving that data is another iDevice, unless of course you disable iMessage, then it goes through as a text message, and I say iDevice, because I iMessage from my iPad all the time using my phone number and the person on the other end never knows it. You can iMessage from an iPad, iPhone, iPod, and they use data and the data is encrypted through Apple's servers. The feds are pissed because they have to get a warrant to view the data and even if they get a warrant, from what I read online, there can be a 4 to 6 month waiting period.

Anyways, nothing to worry about, an iMessage is strictly encrypted data, sort of like an iVPN so to speak lol.
 

scaredpoet

macrumors 604
Apr 6, 2007
6,627
342
We're talking iMessages here, not regular SMS messages.
For the trillionth time:

iMessages are DATA. Data that is encrypted.

None of the carriers can track or read your iMessages.

None of the carriers can list or itemize iMessages on your bill.

None of the carriers have access to the content of your messages. They can't even tell the difference between an iMessage and some other iCloud transaction. So they have no way of knowing that an iMessage is even being sent or received. And if you're on wifi, the carrier is completely taken out of the picture altogether.

If you're sexting someone sereptitiously, your significant other would have to gain physical access to your phone, or hack your iCloud account, to gain access to any record of those messages. At present, the same appears to be true of law enforcement.
 

Bacong

macrumors 68020
Mar 7, 2009
2,150
365
Westland, Michigan
Ding, Ding
if you're going to admit you're cheating, at least do it from a username that isn't so easily searchable on google. Your twitter is the first link.

If I can find it, so can she. I've also found out where you live from the tweets on your timeline and with an easy google search of your name, I found your facebook profile. Gotta tighten it up :)

edit - also the street you live on. the internet is scary
 
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ritmomundo

macrumors 68000
Jan 12, 2011
1,813
217
Los Angeles, CA
Which is why I prefer iMessage. Doesn't leave the usual paper trail... :cool:
Yes and no. It doesn't leave the same trail as text messages, but any Mac/ipad/iphone/ipod logged in to the same iCloud account will save a copy of the iMessages sent and received. So then you have to go and manually delete your iMessage history from all your devices.
 

andyx3x

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Mar 1, 2011
1,231
42
if you're going to admit you're cheating, at least do it from a username that isn't so easily searchable on google. Your twitter is the first link.

If I can find it, so can she. I've also found out where you live from the tweets on your timeline and with an easy google search of your name, I found your facebook profile. Gotta tighten it up :)

edit - also the street you live on. the internet is scary
I'm curious. PM me the info you think you have. My twitter name is not my real name and I don't have a facebook page.