Apple is expanding its iCloud security features and introducing support for security keys for two-factor authentication.
TL;DR; – Apple has announced that it will add end-to-end encryption to iCloud backups as part of a major security overhaul. Advanced Data Protection will increase the number of data categories protected by end-to-end encryption from 14 to 23, adding backups, Notes, and Photos to the list. Data protected under standard data protection can be recovered by Apple if needed, while data encrypted under end-to-end encryption can only be accessed from “trusted devices”. Advanced Data Protection will be available to US users by the end of the year and globally from early 2023.
Apple announced it will finally be adding end-to-end encryption to iCloud backups, as part of a major set of security announcements. Under what it calls Advanced Data Protection, Apple will expand the number of “data categories” protected by end-to-end encryption from 14 to 23, including device backups, messages backups, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes.
Apple says the only “major” categories not covered by Advanced Data Protection are iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar because “of the need to interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems.”
Note that with end-to-end encryption, Apple will no longer hold the encryption key, which means only “your trusted devices where you’re signed in with your Apple ID” will be able to access or recover your data. In fact, Apple says that neither they nor law enforcement or hackers will be able to access your data from Apple’s databases.
Users on Apple’s beta program in the US will be able to enable Advanced Data Protection beginning Wednesday. It will be available broadly to US users by the end of the year and will begin rolling out globally — including in China, according to The Wall Street Journal — in early 2023.
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