Apple iPhone owners in the UK are being warned they could lose access to apps like iMessage and FaceTime in the future.

Access to the apps could be lost if the government goes ahead with controversial changes to the Investigatory Powers Act (2016), according to Apple.

The changes would give the Home Office the power to demand changes to security features on apps, including asking for them to be disabled, without tech companies having the chance to appeal the decision.

Under the current law, the Home Office can demand changes to security features, but tech companies have the right to demand a review of the decisions.

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Apple has said it would prefer to remove services from customers in the UK altogether than reduce its privacy protections for users, describing the proposals as “a serious and direct threat to data security and information privacy”.

The company said it would not make changes to security features for one country if those changes would weaken security for all users.

It added that some changes would require issuing a software update so could not be made secretly.

Apple also opposed have to tell the Home Office of any changes to product security before they were released, as well as opposing the need to take action immediately before any demand has been reviewed or appealed against.

The Home Office said the Investigatory Powers Act was intended to “protect the public from criminals, child sex abusers and terrorists.”

It told the BBC: “We keep all legislation under review to ensure that it is as strong as it can be and this consultation is part of that process – no decisions have yet been made.”