To further ensure the privacy of its customers’ data, Apple has announced a substantial improvement to iCloud’s data privacy safeguards.
iMessage Contact Key Verification, which expands on SMS-based security, and Advanced Data Protection for iCloud are two of the new advanced privacy capabilities.
While the new features may have been developed with journalists, dissidents, human rights activists, political opponents, and others in mind, the announcement suggests that everyone will have access to them.
Against “exceptionally advanced” foes
Protecting user information in the event of a cloud service outage is a primary goal of Apple’s Advanced Data Protection for iCloud.
It achieves this by limiting decryption of encrypted data to authorised gadgets. Apple is expanding the number of data types protected by end-to-end encryption in iCloud from the current 14 to 23 by introducing support for iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos.
Apple noted that the only main iCloud data categories not covered are iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar because of their need on interoperability with other email, contacts, and calendar systems throughout the world.
Apple has maintained that these new measures are part of a suite of additional safeguards that make its devices the most secure available.
With iMessage Contact Key Verification, users can double-check that only the intended recipient is getting their messages. The feature alerts users if a “exceptionally sophisticated opponent, such as a state-sponsored attacker,” compromises Apple’s cloud servers and instals an eavesdropping device. Apple expanded the capabilities of iMessage Contact Key Verification by allowing users to compare a Contact Verification Code in-person, through FaceTime, or in any kind of secure conversation.
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