Apple’s announcement this week that it is increasing the security of some data on iCloud It hasn’t pleased everyone.
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud began rolling out to users on Thursday as an optional feature. It offers end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, photos, and notes, though at this stage it doesn’t include iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar.
The new layer of security is a step up from current on-device encryption, as it prevents any kind of access by Apple, for example, in response to police requests, to a portion of a user’s iCloud data. . It also better protects user data if Apple systems were ever breached.
Many privacy-focused groups welcomed the new security feature, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).
“We applaud Apple for listening to experts, children’s advocates, and users who want to protect their most sensitive data,” said the EFF in a statement. “Encryption is one of the most important tools we have for maintaining privacy and security online.”
Apple’s on-device encryption is strong, but some particularly sensitive iCloud data, like photos and backups, has remained vulnerable to government lawsuits and hackers. Users who opt in to Apple’s proposed new feature…will be protected even if there is a cloud data breach, government lawsuit, or breach within Apple (such as a rogue employee).”
However, offering a broad view on the matter to the Washington Postthe FBI made it clear that it felt differently, saying it was “deeply concerned about the threat [que] stands for end-to-end, user-only access encryption,” as it “hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking.” organized crime and terrorism. The FBI added: “In this age of cybersecurity and ‘security by design’ demands, the FBI and law enforcement partners need ‘lawful access by design.'”
Apple’s new security feature could also lead to a clash with the UK government, reported The Guardian, already that incoming legislation requires messaging apps to deal with extreme content and gives regulators the power to order changes to such platforms if they don’t comply.
A UK government spokesperson said that while it does support strong encryption, it “cannot come at the expense of protecting the public. End-to-end encryption cannot be allowed to hinder efforts to catch the perpetrators of the most serious crimes.”
Apple’s move to offer end-to-end encryption for some of its iCloud services once again highlights the ongoing problem of balancing user privacy and security with law enforcement’s desire for the ability to access such data. to help you successfully investigate criminal cases.
Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is now available in the US to members of Apple’s Beta Software Program and to all US users later this year. The global launch is planned for early 2023.