Apple's complete reversal of a reversal
a good thing, I hope
On August 21st of 2021, I ran an article titled “Apple Sucks”. This article covered the news at the time that Apple was planning to compromise both on-device and in-cloud security of its devices and user accounts in the name of stopping the sexual exploitation of minors. While this was a noble goal, it wasn’t exactly in keeping with all of their advertising and ideals. To compromise security for one is to compromise security for all. This was a reversal of Apple’s privacy and security commitments they were making at that time. Apple suspended that plan the following month.
Apple has now fully reversed this policy. The plan to scan both user devices and user cloud storage accounts has been terminated. Not just this, but Apple is now saying that they will enable end-to-end encryption on Keychain, health data, home data, iMessage, payments, Apple Card transactions, Maps, keyboard learned words, Safari, Screen Time, Siri, wifi passwords, bluetooth keys, and Memoji. Further, there will be encryption both in-transit and on-storage for Mail, Contacts, Calendar, iCloud Backup, iCloud Drive, Photos, Notes, Reminders, Safari Bookmarks, Siri Shortcuts, Voice Memos, and Wallet Passes. There will also now be contact key verification for secure communication, and support for physical security keys.
This is a fairly large reversal of a reversal. I hope this signifies a return of the Apple that was willing to champion privacy and security in the face of extreme government pressure. With these changes following the return of decent keyboards and ports, it would appear that Apple is just in a mood to fix some of its past mistakes. Given the extreme success that M1 has proven to be, this change feels like Apple might be moving in several good directions. I am pleased that Apple has done something we can all applaud in regards to privacy even while they’ve been misleading about telemetry and ad data on their devices and in their services.
Completely unrelated, I apologize for the delay in more historical articles. I am working on one currently that has been taking more time in research. I hope to get something out soon :-)