Apple says its new mobile operating system puts text messages, e-mails, photos and other data out of the reach of police, even if authorities present the company with a search warrant.
In a blog post, Apple says that iOS 8, which began rolling out Wednesday, has new encryption that will no longer allow the company to bypass a customer’s passcode to access the data.
“So it’s not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8,” it said.
Earlier versions of the operating system allowed the company to bypass the password, as do rival operating systems, according to Apple.
But if customers back up the information on iCloud, the protection from warrants disappears, since Apple will comply with warrants to turn over information on its servers.
But Apple clearly senses that added privacy protections are a selling point for its products.
“I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will,” wrote Apple CEO Tim Cook on the blog.
The site also brags that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has given Apple top marks for “standing with our customers when the government seeks access to their data.”