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TECH giant Apple dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices on iCloud after the FBI complained that the move would harm its investigations.
Full encryption would protect user data by converting it into code, making it impossible to access without a password.
The reversal took place two years ago but was discovered only this week by the Reuters news agency.
A former Apple worker told the agency that the company did not want to risk being attacked by public officials for protecting criminals, sued for moving previously accessible data out of reach of government agencies or used as an excuse for new legislation against encryption.
Over the past seven years, Apple has responded to over 127,000 requests from US law-enforcement agencies for information.
The US attorney-general last week publicly requested that Apple unlock two iPhones used by a Saudi air-force officer who shot dead three people at a US navy air base in Pensacola, Florida, in December.
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