iCloud: Apple is expanding end-to-end encryption in the Safari browser


Apple introduced end-to-end encryption in iCloud for another central service. The bookmarks saved in the Safari browser should now be completely encrypted when synchronizing via iCloud, so that only the user himself has access – Apple no longer. This means that all Safari data, which is automatically kept up-to-date via iCloud on all of your own devices, is protected by end-to-end encryption.

Apple recorded the change in a support document that lists a security overview of the various iCloud services. The innovation in Safari was recorded with the last change to the document at the end of September, a few days after the release of iOS and iPadOS 15. Apple does not mention a system requirement for end-to-end encryption of Safari bookmarks, some functions are updated software require “generally at least iOS 13 or newer”, it just says in the document.

The Safari history and the open tabs, which are also synchronized via iCloud, have been comprehensively encrypted since iOS 13. End-to-end encryption requires activation of two-factor authentication for the Apple ID and the use of a device code.

Apple has gradually expanded end-to-end encryption in iCloud over the past few years. However, it is still missing when synchronizing calendars, reminders, contacts, notes, iCloud Drive, voice memos, Siri shortcuts, wallet passes and photos. This data is encrypted during transmission and on the server, but Apple has the key for it. iCloud Mail is only encrypted in transit.

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Even iCloud backups lack end-to-end encryption, so Apple can release data from iPhone data backups on government orders. Apple CEO Tim Cook announced in 2018 that Apple wanted to get rid of the key to iCloud – but that has not happened so far. The plans were reportedly abandoned following objections from the US Federal FBI.


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