The FBI suffers: Apple expands end-to-end encryption for iCloud files

Apple  has extended end-to-end encryption in its cloud service and you will no longer be able to generate a copy of your files in some cases.


Apple  has decided to extend end-to-end encryption for files hosted on iCloud Drive , its cloud storage service. The company will add a new option called Advanced Data Protection , which will expand the encryption feature so that, in some cases, a copy of content stored in the database cannot be generated.

As indicated in a new press release published on its official website , the technology firm will include this new option for its service and will extend to products such as iCloud Drive, Photos, Notes and Reminders . In this way, if any security organization like the FBI tries to obtain evidence from files stored in the cloud, they will face an extremely large obstacle.

Apple’s privacy policy comes to light

One of Apple ‘s main interests in recent years has been to demonstrate to its users that it is more committed to protecting their privacy than any other technology firm on the market, with features such as App Tracking Transparency (ATT) and encryption of their devices locally. However, the cloud was a territory that still needed to be fortified since not all data is protected with the same intensity.

This gap in the company’s privacy policy allows, on certain occasions, security agencies to access user files if they need it to carry out their investigations. However, with the advanced data protection that Apple announced, 23 of the 27 categories of data that pass through its cloud servers will be protected with end-to-end encryption.

It should be noted that Apple already offered this option for Health, passwords, payment information and certain sections of Safari , the iOS web browser . The advanced data protection feature will be available to users in the United States with devices running iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2 , and macOS 13.1 starting at the end of December. The feature will be coming to other countries starting next year, and users in those territories will be able to turn on encryption in iCloud Backup & Messages, iCloud Drive, Notes, Photos, Reminders, Voicemail, Safari Bookmarks, Google Shortcuts, and more. Siri and Wallet Passes .

Some details to consider

Apple notes that some categories will not yet receive end-to-end encryption, such as Mail, Contacts , and Calendar . This is because they are applications that must interoperate with other systems that are outside the company’s ecosystem and its control.

In addition to these security options, Apple is also preparing to implement two others for its users from 2023. These are identity verification for iMessage , which will allow people to know if they are really communicating with who they want, and authentication with physical devices to reinforce the cybersecurity of devices with confidential information from companies or governments.