Apple has discontinued iCloud synchronization of the iPhone calls list. Three years after the undocumented function was introduced. Reading the list from iCloud is no longer possible, as a manufacturer of forensic software noted whose tools can no longer retrieve this information.
iPhones have sent the call log fully automatically to Apple’s server without notifying the user. In addition to the date and time, the phone number and the name of the contact stored in the address book were also transmitted. The duration of the call and status information, such as whether a call was missed and were also recorded. Calls with VoIP services integration also end up in the iOS call list and have been transferred to iCloud accordingly.
It Is Not Entirely Clear When Apple Switched Off The Call List Sync
So far the function has not returned. When asked by Apple, they only got the answer that the company takes data protection very seriously. Apple reported about three years ago the silent comparison of the data of iCloud, that it had enabled law enforcement officers to read the call history almost in real time. Previously, law enforcement officers could also temporarily read iCloud data if they had access to a Windows PC of the target person and were able to tap the corresponding authentication tokens for iCloud. For accounts, the tokens from Windows are now completely useless. Tokens are now linked to the respective Mac and can only be used from there to log in. For accounts without protection, the tokens are supposed to continue to be used for authentication with iCloud, but can no longer access the full amount of data from iCloud.
Apple only announced that it was a convenience function for users. There was no switch to deactivate the synchronization. Users could only switch off iCloud Drive completely to stop syncing the call list with corresponding side effects when comparing data from other apps and services.