Apple Inc AAPL introduced the “Advanced Data Protection” feature for its iCloud service to provide end-to-end encryption for user data such as documents and photos on Wednesday.
What Happened: The Tim Cook-led company said in a statement that it was introducing the feature and two others, focused on protecting users against threats in the cloud, in an effort to “provide users with even stronger ways to protect their data.”
Apple said it would introduce “iMessage Contact Key Verification” and “Security Keys” as other mechanisms to bolster cloud security.
Users that enable its advanced data protection feature will be protected across 23 data categories with encryption including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos.
U.S. users can get the feature by the end of the year. The rest of the world is expected to get it by early 2023.
Why It Matters: Apple said that iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar will not be covered by encryption due to the need to “interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems.”
The iPhone maker said that the users of iMessage Contact Key verification will receive “automatic alerts” if an “exceptionally advanced adversary” such as a state-sponsored attacker were ever successful in breaching the company’s cloud servers.
For those opting in for Security Keys, Apple’s two-factor authentication would be strengthened by requiring a hardware security key as one of the two factors.
Apple earlier scrapped its plans to fully encrypt backup data in iCloud after checking in with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation.
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