Apple's Secure Enclave Chip

Apple tests the “privacy” of its products in extreme conditions

Whether at presentations or in interviews, Apple executives (almost) always talk about privacy and highlight the company’s efforts to preserve user data. Apple does not detail, however, what is done to keep your devices safe, but a new report from The Independent gives us an idea of ​​the task force behind it.

In that sense, the Cupertino giant allowed British journalist Andrew Griffin to enter one of the company’s “secret” facilities, where processors and other components of future Apple products, such as the iPhone, are tested to see if they are safe. against possible attacks.

If by “tests” you understood strictly digital activities, know that this is not exactly what the company does in this type of installation, located close to Apple Park. According to Griffin, the company subjects these components to sudden changes in temperature, among other types of situations / weather.

To explain how work in these labs is done, the The Independent talked to Apple’s senior vice president of software engineering, Craig Federighi, who said that “there are currently a lot of highly motivated attackers” capable of anything to extract personal data and information from users, and explained how Apple works against it .

I can say that privacy concerns are at the beginning of the process, not the end. When we talk about product creation, among the first questions that arise is: how are we going to manage this user data?

As we said, one of the tests performed by Apple includes subjecting certain components to sudden changes in temperature. Thus, even if the chance of an “ordinary” user being in environments with such extreme conditions (such as temperatures ranging from -40ºC to 110ºC) is small, Apple needs to test this, because if determined gadget was considered unsafe under this type of “stress”, then someone could take advantage of the scenario to invade it.

Apple's Secure Enclave ChipSecure Enclave | Image: Apple

Federighi said that the results obtained from the tests carried out in such laboratories “refine” the components to make them safer. In general, Apple checks several products, including parts that may be several years from being sold. Among them, the Apple executive highlighted the Secure Enclave, responsible for feeding Apple’s biometric authentication methods (Touch / Face ID).

These chips are here to see if they can withstand any attack that someone might experience when they go out into the world. If they are successful here, then they must succeed anywhere; this is important, because if they fail in the world, Apple too [falhou]. These chips are the great line of defense in a battle that Apple never stops fighting as it tries to keep user data private.

The report goes on to explain other tests and actions taken by Apple to preserve user privacy, including health information. In this sense, Apple created its own laboratory / academy to verify not only the efficiency of data collection from its gadgets, but how to keep that information secure.

In the case of Apple Watch, the data collected during the tests flows through masks that are around the faces of the people participating in the study, avoiding their identification. At the Apple facility visited by The Independent, participants dressed in these masks performed various physical activities, such as swimming, yoga, among others.

Apple employeesApple employees in the lab | Image: Apple

In addition to explaining how these Apple test bases work, Federighi also addressed other controversial privacy topics, such as storing iCloud customer data in China and Google CEO Sundar Pichai’s provocation about Apple treating privacy as “ luxury ”of your devices.

via AppleInsider