Editors' pick: Originally published Nov. 17.
The debate rages on whether the government and other third parties should have the legal right to access users' phones and other mobile devices. Why should they? Well, in certain instances--such as with criminals and terrorists--it can help the authorities track down other perpetrators that might otherwise cause harm to the public.
On the flip side though, many consumers don't like having "Big Brother" looking over their shoulder, analyzing their conversations and listening in on their discussions.
The debate really came to a head when Apple (AAPL) refused to cooperate with the FBI, which demanded the tech giant unlock an iPhone they had possession of.
Apple vs. the FBI might be the most public case, but others have also created waves, particularly Facebook (FB) and its many number of social media platforms. These companies have been fully encrypting their applications and devices, making them so private that even they cannot gain access to the information - even if they wanted to!
However, one slip-up seems to have come form Apple. According to Elcomsoft, a Russian digital forensics firm, if users have enabled iCloud, their phone call data are sent to the company's servers.
Information such as phone numbers, time and day, duration and missed calls are all retained by Apple for up to four months on a user's iCloud account. Of course, Apple iCloud is a convenient way for users to keep all of their data synced from device to device.