Yes, Apple has recently taken this step to comply with various Chinese authorities and shifted iCloud-data to data centers in China. This step will however be applicable only to mainland China’s residents and those users, who have selected China as main country at the time of creating their accounts on Apple.
Thus, Chinese government gets a chance to access iCloud data easily. Apple has stored various encryption keys related to iCloud data. Accordingly, the data remains encrypted on different Apple servers but Apple has found ways to decrypt the data. This step is useful in the case you forget the password as Apple group always has effective ways to achieve data recovery.
Especially, if we talk about iMessage, the design of its messaging protocol allows encryption of messages on one phone and decryption on the other phone. Here, Apple does not have any way to read and access such messages.
However, Apple by default uploads phone data backup to iCloud if you activate it at the time of iPhone on-boarding procedure. This backup contains a database that has each of your iMessage conversations, which you have not deleted. Apple uses end-to-end type of encryption to store iMessage data on its iCloud servers.
Latest Updates about iMessage and iCloud
However, this system is no longer available. Hence, the company has recently sent notifications to users of China before making any change. Apple hopes that users, who have sensitive data, should disable iCloud backups as well as iCloud data before making switch.
Chinese authorities may now get a legal order from China and tell the local partner apple for handing over the data of users. The local partner will do not have any option but need to stay comply with the placed order.
Read also: Download iMessage for PC
Key Aspects of Using iMessage as Encrypted in China
Accordingly, the update has revealed key aspects about using iMessage as encrypted form in China. These include the following-
- Chinese government has the right to access iCloud service in China because of its latest enacted Chinese law, according to which the government may access each of the data available for residents.
- If any Chinese iMessage user activates his or her backup service, he or she will get a copy of the device in iCloud that indicates the encryption keys.
- However, no can prove that Chinese government may read the created backup nor there is any evidence about encryption keys to Messages services to read actual iMessages by the Chinese government.
- Chinese users may not use any backup service; instead, they should use backup services in the United States or backup the systems on own to encrypted hardware by using inaccessible keys.
- iMessage service continues to stay secured in China and it undergoes complete encryption process. Here, the keys are only responsible to send messages, because of which it is essential for you to backup the devices regularly.
Therefore, iMessage is now available as encrypted form in China to benefit its iPhone users.