Apple threatens to take down Facetime and iMessage from the UK due to upcoming government plan

Apple says it might pull out Facetime and iMessage from the UK if the new Government rule is implemented. Facetime and iMessage are the two major messaging and video calling services used by iPad, iPhone, and Mac, owners around the globe. However, the new proposed changes to the UK law might force Apple to enforce some “user privacy-compromising” changes in how these services will work in the UK. 

Wondering, how we got here? Well, the UK Government is planning to amend the Investigatory Powers Act (IPA) 2016. As per the amendments, the UK Government now wants the Home Office to review all the security features for iMessage before it is made available to the users. At present, many services like iMessage support end-to-end encryption, where no one other than the sender and receiver can view the message contents. However, a new clause mentioned in the latest Online Safety Bill would require companies to include features to scan messages for child abuse material and a backdoor to access user data, which Apple has already refused to do so in the past. It is worth mentioning that Signal, another secure messaging app has promised to remove all its services from the UK if the amendment is enforced. 

Due to all this, Apple has found itself in an unmanageable situation because it markets security and privacy as one of the major highlights of its products and services. But, allowing the UK government access to users’ encrypted data could vastly affect the popular iMessage experience.


Apple has already submitted a nine-page document opposing several changes during the consolidatory period. The Cupertino tech giant has also opposed the requirement to inform Home Office about the security and privacy changes. Further, the company has also opposed the requirement to immediately disable security features at the request of the Home Office. Apple in its written note also stated that it won’t make any changes to the security features for one country that could affect its products and services for all users across the globe. 

Time will tell what will happen, but Apple seems to be in no mood to give the UK government back door access to its users’ data. 

Banner Image Source: Apple

TechieTech.Tech Team
TechieTech.Tech Team