Everything you need to know about the new iCloud encryption feature

Everything you need to know about the new iCloud encryption feature. Apple announced this week that it will expand two-way encryption to additional types of data stored in iCloud. The company called the feature Advanced Data Protection. Now backups, photos, messages, and more will be protected with two-way encryption. iCloud storage will become even more secure.

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To better understand the essence of the new feature and how it works, we have answered the most frequently asked questions about it.

What is the essence of the function, and why did it not exist before?

Previously, Apple only encrypted certain types of data in iCloud, such as passwords and health data. If the data is encrypted, only your device can access it. Other data in iCloud, including your photos, messages, and device backups, was not protected by two-way encryption. If Apple wanted to, it could have access to all of this. With the release of Advanced Data Protection, this will change.

When Advanced Data Protection is enabled, most of the data in iCloud is protected by two-way encryption. This means that no one can access your data. Not Apple, not the government. Only your device can decrypt the information.

What data will be fully encrypted?

Along with Health app data and passwords, Advanced Data Protection will encrypt the following types of data:

  • device backups
  • messages
  • iCloud Drive
  • photos and videos
  • reminders
  • bookmarks in Safari
  • Siri commands
  • voice recorder recordings
  • Wallet app data

It’s worth noting that email, contacts, and calendar are still not encrypted because they need the ability to connect to external sources like Gmail and the like.

Is the feature enabled by default?

The Advanced Data Protection feature will not be enabled by default. In a recent interview, Apple Vice President Cryeg Federighi explained that the new feature must be enabled by the user himself in order to take full responsibility. If you forget your password or lose access to your account, then nothing can be done. Apple doesn’t want to force users to do this.

However, enabling the feature is very easy. When it becomes available to all US users by the end of this month, they will be able to go to the Settings app, select the iCloud section, and then the Advanced Data Protection option.

Is the feature available now?

Not yet. The feature will roll out to all U.S. users by the end of this month, and will roll out globally in early 2023. The exact release date in the world and Russia is unknown.

Everything is free?

Yes, the feature is free. It’s just another extra layer of security for iCloud storage that you don’t have to pay extra for.

How to deal with change?

User reaction is mostly positive. Now your data will be more secure and private. Many are calling the new feature a win for user privacy. On the other hand, national governments are not very happy about the change.

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