Apple allows people to encrypt most data backed up to iCloud from iPhones and iPads. announced on wednesday. This feature will be available in the US later this month and globally in 2023.
Previously, Apple only encrypted sensitive information such as people’s health data, credit card information and passwords. However, a new feature in iCloud known as Advanced Data Protection allows users to encrypt device backups, including notes, voice memos, photos, and copies of most personal data on iPhones and iPads. -To the last”.
End-to-end encryption of your data means that the digital key needed to unlock your data is stored locally on someone’s device, not on some server. No one can access your data, including hackers or the company the server belongs to.
iPhones and iPads have been encrypted for years, but the keys to these backups, which can contain personal information such as text messages and attachments, were typically stored in Apple’s data centers. It remained vulnerable to attacks from hackers.
Advanced data protection is important. That’s because when you flip the switch, it just stores the key locally on your device, not on Apple’s servers. Not only does this help keep backups safe in case hackers break into Apple’s data centers, it also ensures Apple can turn over iCloud backups of devices to law enforcement and governments in response to valid legal requests. will not be possible. Thousands of times before according to For your own transparency report.
Authorities may not like this development, but digital rights advocates love it. “Being able to opt-in to end-to-end iCloud backup is a really good thing,” said Eva Galperin, director of cybersecurity at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based digital rights group. ask apple It’s to allow people to encrypt their iCloud backups for years, he told BuzzFeed News. “Law enforcement very much liked the iCloud backup loophole to allow people to access the contents of his iPhone without having to get hold of the iPhone itself or find a way to break into it. .”
However, Apple says that iCloud email, iCloud backed up contacts, and calendars are not encrypted. This is because these features need to interact with third-party apps and platforms.
By default, Advanced Data Protection is turned off on iPhones and iPads. If you opt in, Apple will set a recovery key (a complex password that you can store in a safe place) or assign a trusted friend or family member as a recovery contact so they can unlock your encrypted iCloud backups. I ask you to A new phone or iPad.
It is important to set up how to unlock the backup data with one of these methods. Because it means only you can access your backups, not Apple. However, if you forget or lose your recovery key, you won’t be able to unlock your iCloud backup.
“I prefer strong defaults,” Galperin said. “But if you allow users to permanently lock themselves out of all their data, they will get angry and stop using your product. So I understand the business case. [for having to opt in] here. “
In addition to advanced data protection, Apple also announced security improvements to iMessage. This will allow people to share codes with each other to see who they are chatting with. iMessage also now warns people if state-sponsored attackers attempt to intercept conversations.
If you really want extreme security, you can also make your iPhone or iPad require you to insert a hardware security key to unlock it.