In the future, the iPhone group wants to use end-to-end encryption to better protect sensitive data from being accessed by hackers and spies.

In the future, Apple will enable fully encrypted backups of photos, chat histories and most other sensitive user data worldwide in its cloud storage system. This was announced by the iPhone group in Cupertino (US state of California).

End-to-end encryption protects sensitive data better against access by hackers and spies. However, the data then becomes inaccessible to law enforcement agencies. Therefore, the US federal police FBI and other institutions had warned Apple not to take this step.

For many years, Apple has tried to position itself as a provider that does more to protect the privacy of its customers than its competitors. The Apple messaging system iMessages is protected with end-to-end encryption between the Apple devices. The content can only be read on the devices involved, but not by Apple, the phone service provider, or the police with a search warrant.

Threats to user data are becoming more sophisticated and complex

So far, law enforcement agencies have often been able to access the content, namely if the users had saved the messages, photos and other content in a backup in the online storage iCloud. They have so far been unencrypted there and could therefore be passed on to the authorities with judicial approval. That would no longer be possible in the future.

Apple pointed out that threats to user data are becoming more sophisticated and complex. Therefore, this additional protective measure is introduced. The service will initially be available to customers in the USA, but will then be rolled out worldwide in 2023, including in China.

Sumon Dantiki, a former senior official at the FBI and the US Department of Justice, told the Wall Street Journal the development would raise questions at home and abroad. “For example, the question of whether the Chinese government will really accept the loss of data access,” said Dantiki, who is a partner at the law firm King