What does "Expanded data protection" actually mean?

banthafodder's picture

banthafodder

Joined: Jan 14, 2016
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I've been wondering this for quite some time and haven't been able to figure it out. Apple has touted the following as a new feature coming in iOS 8.

"In addition to Mail and third-party apps, the Calendar, Contacts, Reminders, Notes, and Messages apps as well as user credentials are protected with a passcode until after the device is unlocked following a reboot."

What does that actually mean? It seems incredibly vague. Does that mean those applications will be able to have their own passcode at the application level instead of the device level? If not, then what is actually different from how passcodes worked before? Hasn't "protected with a passcode until after the device is unlocked following a reboot," always been the case when a passcode is being used?

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jb's picture

jb

Joined: Mar 20, 2014

It's not vague to those

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It's not vague to those who've read a particular Apple whitepaper on their security design. It means those apps are being placed in the special class of encryption where the data is scrambled when the device boots. They unencrypt once the user has unlocked the device, and will remain unencrypted in memory for the duration that the device remains on. This means that the iPad is somewhat more resistant to theft of the protected data by anyone physically accessing it and using forensic software.

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wesleymintz's picture

wesleymintz

Joined: Mar 5, 2015

Expanded data protection

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Expanded data protection is the new feature Apple has brought in iOS 8. It actually is a major advancement in separating work and personal apps and data. It lets users password protect their apps on application level instead of putting a complete passcode on the device. It is the most useful feature for BYOD users. It also helps prevent “my kid was using the phone for a game but then got into my work email”-type situations.

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