Apple is on a collision course with the UK government over the online safety bill, after the company announced sweeping new privacy changes that will limit the ability of law enforcement organisations to access user data.
The new privacy feature, called “advanced data protection for iCloud”, lets users apply end-to-end encryption to all their data stored in the cloud, including device backups, message histories and photos. It is already available for users in the US who are signed up to the company’s beta programme, and will be shipped worldwide in early 2023, Apple says.
It could put Apple in opposition to the government. The forthcoming online safety bill requires companies to act to limit the spread of child sexual abuse material and content promoting terrorism in messaging apps, and gives Ofcom the power to issue technical notices forcing changes to products if they do not comply.