In 2018, Apple chief executive Tim Cook told Germany's Der Spiegel in an interview that the company would stop keeping copies of user's keys for iCloud backups, and thus make it impossible for the company to gain access to backed-up user data.
But Cook apparently did not give the green light for this to happen, with a Reuters report on Tuesday claiming that Apple had abandoned such plans.
Instead, under pressure that is claimed to have come from the FBI, Apple retained the ability to gain access to these back-ups.
“It is difficult to estimate when we will change this practice. But I think that will be regulated in the future as with the devices. So we will not have a key for this in the future either.”
In 2016, Apple faced court orders from the FBI to create a modified version of its iOS operating system that would allow unlimited guesses for the passcode to an iPhone. The company refused to do so.
The FBI obtained access to the data it wanted by using software from a third party.
This year, the FBI has again been after Apple to gain access to two iPhones belonging to a Saudi national who killed three Americans.
Reuters said Apple had turned over the iCloud backups for these phones to the agency.