Apple Announces End-to-End Encryption For iCloud Backups and Photos

Apple is making some big changes to iCloud to make user data more secure. With the upcoming Advanced Data Protection feature for iCloud, Apple will offer end-to-end encryption for even more iCloud data including iCloud backups and Photos.

“iCloud already protects 14 sensitive data categories using end-to-end encryption by default, including passwords in iCloud Keychain and Health data. For users who enable Advanced Data Protection, the total number of data categories protected using end-to-end encryption rises to 23, including iCloud Backup, Notes, and Photos,” the company announced today.

Apple won’t offer encryption support for iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar as this data needs to “interoperate with the global email, contacts, and calendar systems,” the company explained. Still, this is a big step forward for iCloud security, though Advanced Data Protection won’t be turned on by default.

Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is available today in the latest iOS 16.2 beta, though the feature is currently restricted to the US. Apple plans to make it available to US users by the end of the year, with the rest of the world to follow in early 2023.

In addition to offering Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, Apple also confirmed to the Wall Street Journal that it has stopped all development on its controversial system to identify child pornography on iPhones. “Child sexual abuse can be headed off before it occurs. That’s where we’re putting our energy going forward,” said Craig Federighi, Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering.

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