Apple’s iCloud encryption update hasn’t pleased everyone

Apple’s announcement this week that it’s increasing security for some iCloud data hasn’t pleased everyone.

Advanced Data Protection for iCloud rolled out to users on Thursday as an opt-in feature. It offers end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, photos and notes, although at this stage it doesn’t include iCloud Mail, Contacts and Calendars.

The new layer of security is a step up from current on-device encryption because it prevents any access by Apple — for example in response to requests from law enforcement — to a portion of a user’s iCloud data. It also better protects user data if Apple’s systems are ever breached.

Several privacy-focused groups welcomed the new security feature, among them the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

“We commend Apple for listening to experts, child advocates, and users who want to protect their most sensitive data,” the EFF said in a statement. “Encryption is one of the most important tools we have for maintaining privacy and security online.”

It continued: “Apple’s on-device encryption is strong, but some particularly sensitive iCloud data, such as photos and backups, remain vulnerable to government demands and hackers. Users who opt into Apple’s newly proposed feature will Do … Data in the cloud will be protected even if there is a breach, a government demand, or a breach from within Apple (such as a rogue employee).

However, while offering a comprehensive perspective on the matter to The Washington Post, the FBI made it clear that it felt differently, adding that it was “deeply concerned by the threat”. [that] end-to-end and user-only-access encryption,” because it “hinders our ability to protect the American people from cyberattacks and criminal acts ranging from violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism.” The FBI added: “In this age of cyber security and the demand for ‘security by design’, the FBI and law enforcement partners need ‘lawful access by design’.”

The Guardian reported that Apple’s new security feature could lead to a clash with the UK government, as upcoming legislation seeks to demand messaging apps to deal with excessive content and regulators could threaten changes to such platforms if they fail to comply. Gives the power to give orders.

A UK government spokesman said that although it supports strong encryption, “it cannot come at the expense of public safety”. End-to-end encryption is designed to hinder efforts to catch perpetrators of the most serious crimes. Can’t be allowed.”

Apple’s move to offer end-to-end encryption for some of its iCloud services once again highlights the ongoing issue of balancing user privacy and security with law enforcement’s desire to successfully prosecute criminal cases. Have the ability to access such data to help with the investigation.

Enhanced Data Protection for iCloud is now available to members of the Apple Beta Software Program in the US and all US users through the end of the year. The global rollout is targeted for early 2023.

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