Safari Bookmarks: Apple decrypts end-to-end encryption for iCloud sync | News

Browser bookmarks can reveal a lot about iPhone, iPad and Mac users. Under certain circumstances, bookmarks can be used to draw detailed conclusions about many aspects of private life and work. Since URLs saved in this way can be synchronized between all devices associated with the Apple ID, both transmission and storage on Apple servers should be protected as much as possible.

It is said that end-to-end encryption was introduced…
In such cases, end-to-end encryption provides the highest level of security. This procedure makes it impossible for third parties and even Apple as the iCloud operator to access the information. Until a few weeks ago, Apple was protecting your browser history and iCloud tabs in the case of Safari, but not synced bookmarks. That apparently changed on September 25: On that day, the Californian company updated its English-language support document “iCloud Security Overview” and added bookmarks to the list of data protected by end-to-end encryption. This version of website It can only be found in the Wayback Machine from the Internet Archive.

… and delete it again for Safari bookmarks
After a good two weeks, it looks like end-to-end encryption for Safari’s synced bookmarks is history again – if Apple activates it at all. On October 5th, the California company revised the support document again. in a current version There is no longer any question to secure bookmarks. Instead, in addition to your browser history and iCloud tabs, Apple has added tab groups introduced with iOS 15 to the list of data protected by end-to-end encryption. As before, Safari bookmarks are only encrypted during transmission and on Apple servers.

The reasons for the detour are unknown
Apple’s motivation for this turn is not known. Perhaps the inclusion of end-to-end encryption for Safari bookmarks was an oversight, which the company has now corrected. This assumption is reasonable because Apple has not officially announced the change on other channels. It is likely that very few iPhone, iPad and Mac users will regret opting out because the action initially announced in the support document and now deleting it would have greatly increased the level of data protection in some ways.

Stan Shaw

<p class="sign">"Professional food nerd. Internet scholar. Typical bacon buff. Passionate creator."</p>

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