Apple introduced today Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, a new feature that uses end-to-end encryption to protect sensitive iCloud data, including backups, photos, notes, and more.
For customers who choose to enable this new security feature, Advanced Data Protection is designed to safeguard “most iCloud data even in the case of a data breach in the cloud” by ensuring that encrypted cloud data can only be decrypted on the users’ trusted devices.
Those who opt-in will first be prompted to choose an alternate recovery method (the device passcode or password, a recovery contact, or a personal recovery key) required if they lose access to their Apple account. This is needed because Apple will not have the decryption keys to recover the data.
The data types protected using end-to-end encryption include device and message backups, iCloud Drive, Photos, Notes, Reminders, Safari bookmarks, Wallet passes, voice memos, Siri shortcuts, and more.
iCloud Mail, Contacts, and Calendar data will not be encrypted because it’s needed to communicate with other email, contacts, and calendar systems.