Apple announces encryption of sensitive data on Safari, then backtracks

To distinguish itself from its competitors using the Android operating system, Apple often brings up the privacy argument. And this week, we discovered that the firm has quietly announced the addition of a novelty for its Safari browser allowing users to benefit from better protection of their personal data.

You might not realize it, but your bookmarks or browser bookmarks are sensitive information, just like your history. And recently, Reddit forum users discovered an Apple support page stating that Safari bookmarks saved to iCloud are now end-to-end encrypted. As a reminder, when data is end-to-end encrypted, it becomes unreadable when it is stored on the servers.

The info, since it came from an official source, has already been relayed by many media, including 9to5Mac and MacRumours. The latter explains in his article that the timing of the update of this support page coincides with the release date of iOS 15.

Finally, no end-to-end encryption for bookmarks

But unfortunately, this support page was updated again on October 5th. And Apple says in this new version that bookmarks on Safari are ultimately not end-to-end encrypted when stored in iCloud.

Unlike the history which can who can benefit from this high level of protection, the bookmarks are simply encrypted during transit and on the servers, just like the photos or even the notes. It’s possible that in September, Apple mistakenly indicated that bookmarks are end-to-end encrypted, and then updated its support page with the correct information after discovering the news articles on the topic.

In any case, it is interesting to consult this Apple support page in order to know what information can benefit from the highest level of protection.

β€œOn each of your devices, the data you store in iCloud that is associated with your Apple ID is protected by a key derived from information unique to that device, combined with your device password that only you know. No one else, not even Apple, can access end-to-end encrypted information ”, Explain the firm of Cupertino.

In order to take advantage of this end-to-end encryption, it is necessary to use a two-step authentication and to define a “passcode” on your device.

Otherwise, it is also recalled that Apple will launch a new feature called Private Relay for Safari which, like a VPN, will make it possible to secure connections.

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