Unfiltered by MereCivilian
May 28th, 2024

🍎 Apple Advanced Data Protection

🍎 apple

What is advanced data protection?

Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is an optional setting that offers Apple’s highest level of cloud data security.

My thoughts

For the last couple of months, I have been thinking about end-to-end encryption (E2EE). It was Proton CEO interview that encouraged me. However, as the Proton CEO pointed out, end to end encryption most times is not the priority. I frequently use Proton products, so it's an obvious choice for me to fully commit to using Proton. Recently, I tried switching from Dropbox to Proton Drive. Unfortunately, it just isn't ready for prime time. For something like file sync, reliability and features are equally important. Having E2EE isnt enough. As a user, I want all the other features as well. I am not saying iCloud Drive is the clear winner but its definitely better than Proton Drive.

However, my reason for turning on Apple's advanced data protection is simple, its because I can. Where a secure option is available, I will take advantage of it.

Credit goes to Apple on how seamless the entire process was. I enabled this option on my iPhone and within minutes; it was done. Just beautiful. Prior to enabling this option, I ensured I met the relevant requirement. In my case, a recovery contact was required. I added my wife and it took seconds. To progress further, I installed my 2016 MacBook Pro which I wasn't using, anyway. This process was also pretty seamless. Apple also made sure, I wrote my recovery key which in my case; I have added to my 1Password vault.

Sadly, E2EE is not a feature Google and Microsoft provides. This means, if you are on Android or Windows, your only option is Proton. As pointed out, Proton's ecosystem is growing quickly but in my humble view its just not there. 

E2EE needs to be provided by operation system providers, such as Google and Microsoft. As a starting point, an E2EE option should be available for Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive and Google Photos. It makes sense that E2EE is not enabled by default. This is Apple's approach as well. 

What services I currently use that support E2EE?

  • Whatsapp
    - iMessage
    - RCS
    - Signal
    - Apple Photos
    - iCloud Drive (but my primary sync service is Dropbox)
    - Proton Mail (but my primary email is managed by HEY)
    - Proton VPN
    - Apple Notes (but my primary notes app is Notion)

Services that should have E2EE

  • Dropbox and Google Drive
    - Notion
    - Google Photos
    I am a practical person. Supporting E2EE has its downsides. One of which is integrating with other apps and services is difficult to manage. However, I am hopeful the smart folks at Big Tech can overcome these challenges.