Can We Access Private Data Members of a Class without using a Member or a Friend Function in C++?
The idea of Encapsulation is to bundle data and methods (that work on the data) together and restrict access of private data members outside the class. In C++, a friend function or friend class can also access private data members.
So, is it possible to access private members outside a class without friend? Yes, it is possible using pointers. Although it’s a loophole in C++, yes it’s possible through pointers.
x = 3 y = 9
Explanation: In the above program, a is an object of class A. The address of the object is assigned to integer pointer p by applying typecasting. The pointer p points to private member x. The integer value is assigned to *p, that is, x. Address of object a is increased and by accessing the memory location value 9 is assigned to y. The p– statement sets the memory location of x. Using the cout statement contains of x is displayed.
x = 5 y = 4 z = 3
Note: In the above way of accessing private data members is not at all a recommended way of accessing members and should never be used. Also, it doesn’t mean that the encapsulation doesn’t work in C++. The idea of making private members is to avoid accidental changes. The above change to data is not accidental. It’s an intentionally written code to fool the compiler.
Time Complexity : O(1)
Auxiliary Space: O(1)
This article is contributed by Ashish Kumar. Please write comments if you find anything incorrect, or you want to share more information about the topic discussed above.