On Wednesday, Apple announced that it would be offering full-disk encryption for most of the content stored by its iCloud users.
Only a user who has an authorized mobile phone will be able to access his/her cloud content, just like only the owner of a private key can access a bitcoin address.
Apple’s New Encryption Policy
The new feature will allow users to protect their personal content from prying eyes by activating an additional layer of security. However, email, calendar, and contact materials won’t be protected because they must interact with multiple services.
Starting in early 2023, encrypted iCloud backups will be available worldwide. This change is indeed a big deal.
Apple emphasizes the benefits of protecting its devices from malware attacks, but the privacy implications are arguably greater than ever before.
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Most materials on iCloud could be viewed by Apple under duress, such as when a court order or other legal requirement forced them.
Apple has tried to fight back against these demands, for example by refusing to help the FBI unlock an iPhone used by one of the San Bernardino shooters.
However, the new encryption technology will render the legal debate irrelevant: law enforcement and intelligence agencies will not have access to user data, because Apple won’t be able to provide them with the technical means to obtain it.
That’s one reason why governments and spy agencies have allegedly been pressuring Apple to keep Face ID secret from the public. Apple’s refusal to comply with these demands is admirable, and could potentially have enormous benefits for public perceptions of digital security.
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As the world’s leading digital hardware and software company, Apple has made a strong statement regarding the importance of protecting user data.
If Apple thinks that protecting user data is so important that they’re willing to fight the US Government for it.
Did you know that Microsoft has quietly released an update for Groove Music that replaces its legacy music player? Check out the complete details on Microsoft’s new updates.
Online Financial Privacy
With the move towards full-scale encryption, we should see an increase in online financial privacy. This will be good news for the crypto community.
To mitigate downside for the average user, Apple plans to introduce a social media monitoring tool called “Social Recovery” to a mass audience.
Encrypted iCloud accounts can be used to create an account for someone else if the owner loses his/her password. Multi-signature backups are becoming increasingly common in cryptocurrency as a way to mitigate the risks associated with losing one’s private keys.
How Will It Help Crypto?
Two other ways in which the new Apple systems will benefit cryptocurrency are:
First, they will affect the safety of things like crypto keys, wallets, and exchanges. Whether due to negligence or true bad judgment, some crypto users have stored their keys in iCloud backups.
That makes them vulnerable both to hackers and, in one infamous incident, the FBI — but with Apple’s new security features, that risk will be massively decreased.
New User Base
One of the biggest upsides of using cryptocurrency is that it introduces a whole new audience to secure systems and interfaces.
It will be the ﬁrst time many users are asked for their own personal encryption keys without a centralized key management system. It’s similar to how non-credentialed crypto applications and protocols ask users to keep track of their own private keys to “be their own banks.”
We don’t know anything about the interface or workflow yet but we’re sure Apple has done something elegant and intuitive.
Thousands of thousands of users are going to be introduced to private keys by one of the most respected names in computer science. From there, cryptography is just a hop and skip away.