imessageSome of you guys might remember the fuss that Apple kicked up when the authorities asked them to unlock an iPhone belonging to a suspect in a bombing case, claiming that by doing so, they would be setting a precedent that should not be set. Basically Apple at that time seemed to champion the privacy of its customers.

However recently, a report from The Intercept (via The Verge) has revealed that Apple actually keeps a log on who you message using iMessage, and that they can/will turn it over to the police in the event that they are asked to. Note that Apple’s logs only contain who you message, when you messaged, and the IP address that it came from. The actual contents are encrypted so your messages are still secure, but we guess in some cases the fact that you might have messaged someone could still be rather damning evidence.

Apparently how this happens is when you send a message using the Messages app, it pings Apple’s servers to see if the recipient has an iMessage account, and if they do, the logs are saved for 30 days before being deleted. Like we said, these logs can be turned over to the police as The Intercept’s report is actually based on a briefing sheet from a Florida law enforcement agency on what kind of information Apple is capable of handing over.

Now this doesn’t mean that Apple has thrown customer privacy out the window. In a statement they made to The Intercept, the company said, “In some cases, we are able to provide data from server logs that are generated from customers accessing certain apps on their devices. We work closely with law enforcement to help them understand what we can provide and make clear these query logs don’t contain the contents of conversations or prove that any communication actually took place.”

Filed in Apple >Cellphones. Read more about , and .