Apple announces new user data protection features for iCloud and iMessage

Apple has rolled out Advanced Data Protection for iCloud today, and iMessage Contact Key Verification and Security Keys for Apple ID are coming in 2023.


User security and data protections have been a notable part of Apple’s firmware updates over the course of a few years, and it seems it’s only continuing to improve with current and upcoming updates. Today, Apple announced a collection of user data security protection features that would be coming to iCloud and iMessage ecosystems. Some of these features have launched today and others will come out in 2023.

Apple shared details on its newly released and upcoming data protection features via an Apple blog post on December 7, 2022. The three main features announced were Advanced Data Protection for iCloud, iMessage Contact Key Verification, and Security Keys for Apple ID. Advanced Data Protection for iCloud launched today, iMessage Contact Key Verification will arrive in early 2023, and Security Keys will come later next year.

Apple's Advanced Data Protection for iCloud.
Apple's Advanced Data Protection for iCloud is an optional feature to keep user data in the cloud encrypted and secured, even in case of a breach of the cloud.
Source: Apple

“Advanced Data Protection is Apple’s highest level of cloud data security, giving users the choice to protect the vast majority of their most sensitive iCloud data with end-to-end encryption so that it can only be decrypted on their trusted devices,” Apple head of Security Engineering and Architecture Ivan Krstić said of the iCloud Advanced Data Protection feature. While it’s an optional feature, those who opt in will have their data secured and encrypted even if a breach of iCloud were to occur.

Meanwhile, iMessage Contact Key Verification is meant to ensure that user conversations will not be breached by third party elements, theoretically no matter how advanced said third parties are. With this feature activated, users will be able to verify that they are messaging only with intended recipients.

“The vast majority of users will never be targeted by highly sophisticated cyberattacks, but the feature provides an important additional layer of security for those who might be,” the blog reads.

Finally, with Security Keys, users will be able to augment two-factor authorization and security on Apple devices and accounts with third party security keys. Designed once again for those who face elevated chances of cyber attacks and threats, users will be able to use Security Keys as one of the factors of Apple’s two-factor authentication to secure their accounts even further.

With cybersecurity ever becoming a more pressing concern in an always-online world, Apple has been working around the clock against hackers to release pertinent security updates and features. With iMessage Contact Key Verification and Security Keys for Apple ID on the way in 2023, stay tuned for further updates and release dates of said features as they become available.

Senior News Editor

TJ Denzer is a player and writer with a passion for games that has dominated a lifetime. He found his way to the Shacknews roster in late 2019 and has worked his way to Senior News Editor since. Between news coverage, he also aides notably in livestream projects like the indie game-focused Indie-licious, the Shacknews Stimulus Games, and the Shacknews Dump. You can reach him at and also find him on Twitter @JohnnyChugs.

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