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Apple finally brings end-to-end encryption to iCloud Backups, Photos, and more

With its Advanced Data Protection, Apple brings end-to-end encryption (E2E) to 23 categories of data on iCloud

What's the news: Apple finally brings end-to-end encryption (E2E) to iCloud Backups, Notes, Photos, and more, the company announced on December 7, as part of a set of new security-related features. Called Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, the feature will allow Apple users to enable end-to-end encryption for 23 categories of data on iCloud, up from the current 14. Why does this matter: Apple has always portrayed itself as a privacy-first company, but iCloud Backups, which contain users' photos, messages and more, were not end-to-end encrypted until now. These backups could be decrypted by Apple, which privacy advocates had criticised. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, for example, noted that it "makes those backups vulnerable to government requests, third-party hacking, and disclosure by Apple employees." "We applaud Apple for listening to experts, child advocates, and users who want to protect their most sensitive data. Encryption is one of the most important tools we have for maintaining privacy and security online." — EFF For more on why this matters, here's a thread by cryptography expert Matthew Green: Why is this a big deal? Because Apple sets the standard on what secure (consumer) cloud backup looks like. Even as an opt-in feature, this move will have repercussions all over the industry as competitors chase them. 7/ — Matthew Green (@matthew_d_green) December 7, 2022 Will it come to China: Apple confirmed to Wall Street Journal that the end-to-end encryption feature will come to China. This is notable because it has been reported in the past that Apple has made significant compromises…

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