It’s no secret, Apple has been relying on third-party cloud companies for iCloud. And CNBC has spotted an interesting tidbit in Apple’s own documents. The company now relies on the Amazon S3 storage product and Google Cloud Platform to store iCloud data.
Back in 2016, CRN reported that Apple has signed with Google for cloud storage. But the Apple document represents the first official confirmation that this agreement has arrived.
You can find the information in Apple’s iOS 11 security guide that was released in January 2018. The company mentions that the user files are divided into small pieces and encrypted. Encryption keys and metadata information are stored on Apple’s own servers. But the encrypted files are stored on third-party services.
While users have no idea that Amazon and Google are managing their iCloud data, Amazon and Google can not do anything with these files without the encryption keys. So it seems highly unlikely that Amazon and Google are looking at your data.
“The encrypted blocks of the file are stored without any user identification information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform”, you can read in the document .
In the past, Apple has mentioned Microsoft Azure in its partners. The wording of the document is not really clear. Apple could use more storage services without naming them directly.
In any case, it is a fine example of asymmetrical competition. While Apple and Google are fighting very hard to conquer market share in the smartphone market, Apple is also Google’s customer. Apple is also competing with Amazon and Microsoft in other areas. Apple should therefore step up its cloud hosting game to cut ties with its competitors.
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