Apple presented on Wednesday, December 7, new tools to better protect the personal and professional information of its users, both from hackers and from the authorities, an announcement which is likely to displease governments concerned that the police can access this data.
Customers of its iCloud storage service will soon be able to choose the “advanced data protectionwhich encrypts 9 additional types of content, including photos. The iPhone manufacturer recalled that 14 categories, such as passwords and health information, were already coded. iCloud users will be able toprotect the vast majority of their most sensitive data with end-to-end encryption so that it can only be decrypted on their trusted devices“, welcomed Ivan Krstic, the head of security systems at Apple, quoted in a press release.
Only the iCloud mailbox, contacts and calendar will be excluded from this comprehensive protection technology to maintain interoperability with other systems. The Californian tech giant already uses end-to-end encryption on its iMessage, as well as WhatsApp (Meta) and other communication apps. This system allows the messages to be scrambled, and only the sender and the addressee have the “keysto read them.
But many governments, even democratic ones, take a dim view of the democratization of these sophisticated methods. In the United States and in Europe, they half-wantly call for “backdoors», That is to say flaws in this software, in the name of the fight against terrorism or pedophilia, in particular. But Apple has partly built its reputation on respecting the privacy of its customers. “Our determination to provide the best data security in the world is unwaveringsaid Craig Federighi, a group vice president. The statement also cites a study that found data breaches tripled between 2013 and 2021.
The apple brand also promises two other new features for people who are particularly at risk of being spied on – journalists, human rights activists, elected officials, etc. On iMessage, they will have additional guarantees against the risk of conversing with identity thieves, promises Apple. And their authentication system to unlock their devices will be strengthened, according to the group. In September 2021, the company had to urgently repair a computer vulnerability that the Pegasus software, from the Israeli firm NSO Group, was able to exploit to infect iPhones.