Apple: Er, yes. Your iCloud stuff is now on Google's servers, too

You can't escape The Circle


If you chose the Apple ecosystem because you don't, for whatever reason, trust Google – bad news. Apple has confirmed for the first time that it now uses Google servers to store chunks of people's iCloud data.

Apple has used Amazon Web Services and Microsoft's Azure to host iCloud documents since 2011. Spreading chunks of files to Google, too, shouldn't be news – and incredibly has been rumoured since 2007.

The iGiant's online storage deal with the Chocolate Factory first leaked in 2016, and was subsequently confirmed by The Financial Times.

But this is the first time Apple has publicly acknowledged that user data resides, albeit encrypted, on Google services – in a discreet security guide published last month (PDF, page 53).

That dossier states iCloud uses "third-party storage services, such as [Amazon's] S3 and Google Cloud Platform." No explicit mention of Azure, we note.

Apple makes much of the fact that its business model doesn't require it to aggregate personal data as Google does, although there is no suggestion Google is mining iCloud for people's information. What makes this all a little awkward is that CEO Tim Cook has taken potshots at Google over data hoarding and privacy.

Behind the rhetoric, Silicon Valley giants are much cosier, and more mutually interdependent, than you may think. And as for cloud security? That's only as strong as the weakest link. ®

PS: It was reported over the weekend that Apple now stores iCloud keys in China, for its Chinese customers, as we covered a month earlier.


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