Apple Reportedly Dropped Plans for End-to-End Encrypted iCloud Backups After FBI Objected
More than two years ago, Apple informed the FBI that it planned to roll out end-to-end encryption for iCloud backups, according to Reuters. Apple ultimately dropped the plan at some point after the FBI objected, although the report notes that it is unclear if the federal agency was a factor in the decision.
A former Apple employee told Reuters that the company did not want to risk scrutiny from public officials for potentially protecting criminals, or promote new legislation against encryption.
“They decided they weren’t going to poke the bear anymore,” the person said, after Apple’s legal battle with the FBI in 2016 over access to an iPhone used in a mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.
Apple has taken a hard line on refusing to create a backdoor into iOS that would allow the FBI to unlock password-protected iPhones to assist in their investigations, but it does provide data backed up to iCloud to authorities when lawfully requested, as outlined its in semiannual Transparency Reports.
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