Monday, October 4, 2021

Safari Bookmarks [Not Actually] End-To-End Encrypted

Sami Fathi:

Spotted on Reddit, an update to Apple’s “iCloud security overview” page has indicated that alongside Safari tabs and history, Safari bookmarks are now end-to-end encrypted, meaning no one, not even Apple, can access users’ saved Safari bookmarks.

It’s not clear to me when the history became end-to-end encrypted. I’ve heard that this was mentioned at WWDC 2019 for iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. Apple’s iCloud Security Overview also now says iOS 13, but it wasn’t updated to say that until March 2020, long after iOS 13 shipped.


Update (2021-10-15): Reddit:

They updated the site again to say that bookmarks are not E2EE.

And it doesn’t say anything about Safari Reader. This privacy documentation is a disaster.

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Oh great. And just when I had intended to use iCloud to store them all temporarily prior to resetting my iCloud Keychain.

Oh, well. Forewarned is forearmed, and all that. I'll just have to collect them all up from my device tabs, export them, and store the resulting file in iCloud Drive, thereby utterly defeating this.

Apple has updated its support page to indicate that Safari bookmarks are not actually end-to-end encrypted, and instead just protected using a standard "minimum of 128-bit AES encryption." While bookmarks remain not end-to-end encrypted, Safai Tab Groups now are.

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