Rally that Lobby

Tech giants lobby Senate to curb NSA spying

Privacy Redux

Congress discusses privacy in wake of nude leaks


Developers must now list privacy policies in App Store

Who's tracking who?

iOS 8 MAC address randomization and you


FBI wants the the keys to your phone's data


Apple reaffirms commitment to protecting privacy everywhere, including China


UK government set to rush through emergency surveillance legislation


Location permissions in iOS 8: Explained


Apple awarded top marks for protecting user data from prying governments


iOS 8 wants: Privacy Sheets to make permissions manageable


Apple, Google, Microsoft increasingly defying U.S. government, informing customers of data demands


QuizUp accused of lax security that lets other players see your private data


Darkmail Alliance wants to create newer, more private email standard to prevent snooping


NSA reportedly infiltrated Yahoo!, Google data center links, collected hundreds of millions of user accounts


U.S. President Obama to 'rebalance' NSA surveillance program, but is that enough?


Apple's Tim Cook, other tech leaders meet with U.S. President Obama, discuss NSA spying concerns


Private email service Lavabit chooses to quit rather than submit

ZEN & TECH 57: From NSA to cameras everywhere: Coping with privacy violations


Apple and other large companies coming together to call for more NSA transparency


Stores using our phones to track our movement, behavior while we shop - clever... or creepy?

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iPhone 2.0: Secure Erase

iPhone 2.0: Secure Delete

Remember when AT&T was selling refurbished iPhone 2G's at (what was then) ridiculously low prices? Remember how it turned out some of those units still contained the personal information of their previous owners? Apple seems to remember, and has reportedly taken steps to prevent it from happening again.

As with a computer, when you simply delete a file, the file typically remains but is marked as deleted by the file system and will eventually be over-written. To delete something and make sure it's deleted, you need to over-write it, and not just with a single binary bit (zero'ing out). You have to over-write it with (pseudo) random data, and over-write several times.

Apple does something like this on the desktop with "Secure Empty Trash", and now they're bringing the same concept to the iPhone. The catch? Time. The new dialog for "Erase iPhone" now warns that "This will take about an hour."

And let's face it: what's a little time if it prevents that eBay buyer from getting all your personal details, right?

Check the read link for the Settings screen shots...


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Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, Vector, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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Reader comments

iPhone 2.0: Secure Erase


I do sort of wish there were an option to NOT erase securely -- sometimes you just need a factory reset and being forced to wait an hour for it sounds ...onerous.

I figure they will separate out a reset, restore, and secure erase. It doesn't make sense to have that as part of the simple restore procedure, and would waste flash memory cycles (which don't have unlimited lifespans, especially under the pressure of full, multi-pass data writes where the fancier upper lays can balance out the bits being hit).

Are there any details on the "remote wipe" function? I gather from what I have read that only Exchange administrators can execute this function, but I would like the reassurance of knowing that if I lose my phone it could be wiped.

Remote wipe is a part of Exchange. I haven't seen anything that hints at us personal users getting it, not even through MobileMe.