BOSTON ( Associated Press) – As part of its campaign for privacy, Apple announced Wednesday that it will now offer full end-to-end encryption for nearly all data stored by its users on its global cloud storage systems. . This will make it more difficult for hackers, spies and law enforcement to access sensitive user information.
The world’s most valuable company has long placed the security and privacy of its customers above all else. Its iMessage and Facetime communication services are fully end-to-end encrypted and have clashed several times with law enforcement agencies including the FBI over its refusal to unlock the devices.
But most remote backups — including photos, videos and chats — of customers using Apple’s iCloud service are not protected by end-to-end encryption, a technology that prevents even Apple from cracking them. This has made it easy for criminals, spies and criminal investigators to access it.
but not anymore. The loophole for law enforcement to access iPhone data will be greatly reduced.
Cupertino, California-based Apple did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the timing of the announcement and other issues. The FBI also did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment.
Cyber security experts have long argued that efforts by law enforcement to undermine encryption through backdoors are ill-advised because they will make the Internet less reliable and more dangerous.
Apple last year announced, then retracted after a flurry of objections, plans to scan iPhones for images of child sexual abuse.
Matthew Green, professor of cryptography at Johns Hopkins University, tweeted, “Last year Apple was reluctant to introduce encryption features… Now it looks like they’ve decided to step on the gas.”
Apple’s encryption announcement provides what the company calls advanced data protection, which users of its devices must turn on. Add iCloud Backup, Notes and Photos to the categories of data already protected by end-to-end encryption in the cloud, including health data and passwords. According to Apple, the iCloud encryption system does not include email, contacts, and calendar items because they must interoperate with other providers’ products.