Recently, the updated iCloud security overview support page removes end-to-end encryption for Safari bookmarks. A few weeks ago, an updated iCloud security overview page showed Safari bookmarks, along with history and tabs, are protected with end-to-end encryption.
Now that status changes to “In transit & on server” which means that iCloud encrypts users’ information when it’s being uploaded and stored on iCloud. But Safari history and tabs are still protected by end-to-end encryption.
Did Apple drop end-to-end encryption for Safari bookmarks because of pressure by regulators?
Safari bookmarks allow users to save frequently visited and important websites so that they can access them quickly. With iCloud support, users in Apple’s ecosystem can open their saved tabs on all devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac. In addition, with end-to-end encryption, no one would have been able to access that information. Therefore, it raises the question, was the older update a mistake or Apple reverted its decision to expand end-to-end encryption to Safari bookmarks because of the pressure of law agencies.
Data protected with end-to-end encryption is not accessible by anyone, not even Apple. For that reason, law enforcement agencies are against encrypted data. Apple recently delayed its new child safety features for CSAM detection after backlash from privacy experts criticized the company for jeopardizing users’ privacy by ending end-to-end encryption, but regulators and investors are pushing the company to release them soon.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said:
The introduction of end-to-end encryption must not open the door to even greater levels of child sexual abuse – but that is the reality if plans such as those put forward by Facebook go ahead unchanged. Hyperbolic accusations from some quarters that this is really about governments wanting to snoop and spy on innocent citizens are simply untrue. It is about keeping the most vulnerable among us safe and preventing truly evil crimes.
And Apple’s investor and successful money manager at Christian Brother Investment Services, Jeff McCory, is pressuring the company to do more to stop the spread of Child Sexual Abuse Material (CSAM) in videos as well and is demanding that new child safety features should be released soon.