Last week Apple updated a support document to note that its Safari bookmarks were end-to-end (E2E) encrypted. Now it’s updated the same document to say that no, actually, that isn’t the case at all.
First reported by AppleInsider, the update means that Safari bookmarks are now simply listed as being encrypted “in transit and on server.” While that’s still encryption, it isn’t quite the same level of encryption as we might have hoped.
Here’s how Apple explains E2E encryption on its devices.
End-to-end encryption provides the highest level of data security. On each of your devices, the data that you store in iCloud and that’s associated with your Apple ID is protected with a key derived from information unique to that device, combined with your device passcode which only you know. No one else, not even Apple, can access end-to-end encrypted information.
Whether this makes any tangible difference to most people is a matter for debate — the new iOS 15 Safari will make more difference to most — but it’s absolutely something worth noting. Safari is undoubtedly the best Mac and best iPhone browser around, but it isn’t yet clear why Apple updated the support document in the first place. Is this a change that is coming, but isn’t ready, or should we not expect E2E encrypted bookmarks at all?
I’ve reached out to Apple for comment on the encryption situation and will update this post if and when it responds.
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