Apple iCloud Gets End-to-End Data Encryption

Apple is planning to make iCloud data storage even more secure by adding end-to-end data encryption as well as security keys to the cloud hosting platform.

Cloud Computing, Data Storage, Apps & OS

Thu Dec 8, 2022 - 14:00

Apple iCloud Gets Encryption

End-to-End Encryption For iCloud Data

Apple keeps bringing more and more features and services to make the user experience of their products better. Recently, they unveiled Advanced Data Protection, a new, optional end-to-end encryption technique that prohibits data in a customer iCloud account from being decrypted on an untrusted device. Specifically, Advanced Data Protection would prevent Apple from accessing iCloud phone backups in response to law enforcement requests and would keep the majority of an iCloud account data secure even if Apple gets hacked.



Advanced-Data Protection gives the trusted devices of iCloud users, such as iPhones and Macs, exclusive access to the encryption keys for the majority of their data. Once enabled, Apple servers are unable to alter some iCloud settings on behalf of users or access information kept in CloudKit fields designated as encrypted by third parties, such as backups, photos, notes, and cloud backups.


There are certain things, though, that this feature cannot fulfil. Advanced-Data Protection does not function with the iWork collaboration tools, shared albums in photos, iCloud mail, contacts, or calendars. Additionally, users must set a password or passcode on their devices, enrol in two-factor authentication for their Apple ID, and upgrade their devices to the most recent version of the software in order to utilize the function, which are iOS 16.2, iPadOS 16.2, macOS 13.1, tvOS 16.2, watchOS 9.2 and the latest version of iCloud for Windows.

Also, managed Apple IDs and child accounts are not yet supported by Advanced Data Protection. And there is a severe penalty for neglecting to specify a recovery strategy. Any encrypted iCloud data is effectively destroyed if the recovery process fails, such as if the information for a recovery contact is outdated.

Other Services

Apple also announced two additional services along with end-to-end encryption, namely, iMessage Contact Key Verification and Security Keys. Users that encounter unusual digital risks can choose to employ iMessage Contact Key Verification to further ensure that they are only messaging those they want.

In order to compare a unique ID-verifying contact verification code in person, on FaceTime, or through a secure conversation, customers can use iMessage Contact Key Verification, which will issue an alarm if an enemy breaks into cloud servers to eavesdrop on encrypted communications. Security Keys, meanwhile, expands on Apple’s current two-factor authentication method. Hardware keys typically provide authentication through Bluetooth, NFC, or USB.


It is currently available for members of the Apple Beta Software Program and will be made available to all users by the end of the year.


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