This is what Apple’s new iCloud encryption feature is all about

Apple has released a new feature advanced encryption in iCloud. You may have heard about it and still it is not very clear to you what this functionality consists of, if it is free, it is added without further ado or we have to configure something… etc. Many times Apple launches new functions that are not given enough publicity and that makes them go a little under the radar, but they are important enough to pay much more attention to them. Let’s go there.

The new advanced encryption function in iCloud makes certain applications and functions that were not so secure before, now they are. We have to note that there are some loopholes in it, that is, not all functions have the same level of security. protection but managed to add to old functions, new security methods And that is always appreciated.

The new functionality can be defined as “Advanced data protection”. It’s advanced because Apple only encrypted certain types of user data in iCloud, like passwords and health data. By encrypting the data, only a trusted user device can access that information. However, other information stored in iCloud, such as photos, messages, and device backups, was not completely end-to-end encrypted. This means that if Apple wanted to, it could access your information. With Advanced Data Protection, all that changes.

With this new functionality left enabled for a specific iCloud account, the vast majority of data stored in the cloud will be end-to-end encrypted, which means that no one — not Apple, law enforcement, or governments — NO ONE can access that information. Only a trusted device can decrypt that information.

What is added to that insurmountable encryption that was not there before. Let’s see:

  • Device Backup
  • Message Backup
  • iCloud Drive
  • Photos
  • reminders
  • Safari Bookmarks
  • Siri Shortcuts
  • voice notes
  • Wallet

What is still unencrypted and therefore, if necessary, that data could be easily accessed:

  • iCloud Mail
  • Contacts
  • Calendar

This is done this way because these applications almost always need connect to third-party data sources. For example Google, Gmail…etc. It is true that I would prefer that it was the Mail that was encrypted before, for example, the Safari bookmarks. I see it as more private, but if they implemented this advanced feature, it would be disastrous on a day-to-day basis. We must find a balance.

The most important thing you should know is that this advanced data protection it will not be enabled by default for users. Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, explained that this functionality requires the user to run it because a recovery method must be enabled. In short, if you want to start the process you must then keep the password safe to access and recover the data, because if you forget it you will NOT be able to access the account and that means that the data will be encrypted and you will not be able to export or use it. That decision and responsibility should fall on the user and not on the company, as Federighi explained.

Now, do not think that the authorization process is not easy. In fact it is simple. Starting this month, when all users in the United States have it enabled, it will only be a matter of activating and following the steps that they tell us and mark on the screen. Therefore, do not look for the function right now, because it is not enabled, especially if you do not live there, in the American continent. You will have to wait until the beginning of 2023. Patience.

Everything that is greater security and data protection, The idea is always welcome. In fact, it seems that the announcement has already generated good reactions among the community of Apple users who see this advanced security feature as a new way to keep their privacy safe. Privacy that continues to be one of the fundamental pillars on which Apple is based and that will continue to implement this type of function.

I think the company should give it a little more publicity, and with that we would gain awareness among many people that what is truly important about a mobile device, may not be the size or resolution of the screen, between levels that we do not distinguish and yes, on the other hand. , features like this advanced protection in iCloud. At least, this is my opinion, that I prefer to choose privacy and security before functionality and style. In fact, it is one of the main reasons why I have iOS and not Android or another operating system. Security and trust are paramount to me. Looking forward to the day when it can be implemented in Spain. I will install it as soon as possible.