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  • German citizen passport & ID available on iPhone with iOS 13 in fall 2019

    While as a German citizen and avid Apple user, I would very much enjoy such great news, I think AI is misreading the release.

    AusweisApp is not meant to replace the German national ID card with an electronic token, but rather to enable the highly-secure physical ID card that uses advanced hardware security (Neuer Personalausweis/nPA - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/German_identity_card) to be used to authenticate and offer ID-card included information like name, address, age verification, etc., to online services (e.g. eGovernment services, taxes, etc., but also *authorized* commercial companies).

    This was so-far possible with certain certified NFC readers that connect to the ID card, together with AusweisApp on PC, Mac and Linux, as well as Android phones. On iOS it was not possible because Apple would not provide API access to NFC functionality.

    Nevertheless, the default use case would be to connect using iOS device to such a secure web service, then the service makes AusweisApp start from the Browser, then AusweisApp builds a secure tunnel, the user would hold the government-issued ID card close to his phone, and then the web service would communicate directly with the card. The protocols, encryption, authentication, privacy and other mechanisms are designed to make it impossible to "clone" the card, so allowing this through a simple app would be the proof that the card's design is flawed. I don't think this is on the table right now. 

    The article should be verified, and possibly updated.
  • Compared: Magic Keyboard versus Smart Keyboard Folio

    I got my Magic Keyboard a few days ago and now have both; at first I thought after accepting the price tag the magic keyboard would fully replace the Folio. After four days, however, I incidentally noticed the biggest drawback, at least for me.

    I had the iPad closed in the Magic Keyboard, and wanted to use it for reading handheld and without a keyboard. With the Folio, I open it, flip it over to the back of iPad Pro, but leave it attached; the move is completely natural to

    Only when I tried to do this I did notice that Magic Keyboard doesn’t flip over! It simply doesn’t.

    if you want to use iPad in handheld tablet mode with this, you have to detach it. Big time change for me. 

    This means that Magic is more like a docking Station; Folio, ob the other hand, is the better travel cover, leaving iPad in the same physical setup, but still being able to use it in all possible modes....

    This difference is much bigger for me than either weight or price or keyboard quality....
    mike1GG1firelockMisterKitforgot username
  • Cellebrite trains law enforcement to maintain iPhone-hacking secrets

    riverko said:
    May I ask where are you from? If from the US, than that’s understandable you have never experienced that even though it applies to US citizens too. But the probability would be much lower I’d say.

    May I ask where you are from? I'm from the EU (Germany), I've entered the US > 100 times, and I've never been asked to hand anything physically over for inspection at immigration except my passport.  Customs have asked me to open and show content of luggage multiple times, but even they did not take anything, touched very little and certainly did not connect anything electronic to any device.  I would also like to add that nothing like this has happened to me when entering the UK, China, Israel or any other country where one might expect similar scenarios.

    I understand as well US and other immigration and law enforcement officials have the authority (sometimes with, sometimes without court order or warrant), but it is certainly not common practice.

    I will assume that these tools are mostly used in cases where phones are found during searches, or seized from suspects and those people refuse to unlock their devices. 

    As for this being irrelevant in 2023, I disagree. Of course most of us are using iCloud and/or other cloud services these days and of course if this exists, then that's the go-to method as it is way easier. Cloud providers will hand over everything they have in their possession when ordered, because it's the law in the country where they operate. Laws in the US have been passed by elected representatives. On this matter, there seems to be a tendency that "right-wing" parties have stronger positions in favor of such activity, and if a majority vote by legislative majority, this is what happens (Voters of a certain previous US president who are not in favor of all this when applied to them personally should simply connect the dots and understand that they got what they paid for!). Anyway, at least the more educated among the "bad guys" know that too, and of course for that reason they use cloud services as little as possible. The infamous discussion with Apple having to add back doors was triggered by a specific case of a suspect who had not used any cloud services, but the data was physically on his device, and only there.

    The fact that if you have physical access to something electronic, with sufficient effort, you will be able to get to the data that's stored on it, has pretty much always been there. Chips have been "opened" physically and other extreme methods have been used. To build something that is 100% safe against this is very hard and very expensive, certainly too expensive for a smartphone.

    The discussion in the article is about what it is - a company making tools to make such processes easier for law enforcement, most likely in legally allowed scenarios in multiple countries, and another company - Apple - trying to make this as hard as possible for that company due to its "value add" in customer data privacy, and considering the "It's not possible to make a backdoor that only the good guys can use." stance they've had. All fair play and fine. For me personally: Case closed, and I'm ok with using my iPhone (and iCloud) for now, because I think the balance of all that is still "ok".

  • Apple kept iMessage off Android to lock users in to iOS

    If it can be proven that Apple knowingly used the term 'lock in' in its internal decisions it definitely won't bode well. 

    Why is that? Just replace it with „customer retention“, „recurring revenue“, „subscription model“, „brand relationship“, „well-integrated ecosystem of products and services“ and you just graduated from „Marketing 101“. And even stronger martial language („killing off competition“) has been used in business communication everywhere forever!

    To give you an example, years ago pay channels in the UK were able to 'snatch' the rights to televised football and effectively make anyone with an interest in watching football on tv have to pay for it.

    That’s not just a different „category“, this is about access to information of public interest. It’s a bit more far fetched in sports though by the amount of interest in football it also makes sense, but a better example is real-time access to public proceedings in parliament or congress. This is then about freedom of the press, transparency of government and legislation and therefore one of the foundational building blocks of any functioning democratic system. If such channels were controlled by any single for-profit media company and they could select/filter content of public interest or limit access to that to their customers, it would be a problem.

    locking in Someone into a specific community of users where it’s about personal preference, etc., is generally not in the same category unless one offering is so dominant that it becomes a de facto monopoly allowing for no more competition to ever come up.

    the latter is clearly not the case with iMessage and iOS and Apple in general. Also they are not the only Provider of key content of public interest with these tools. And they are offering epic the use of their platform for a fee/cut and under certain clearly published conditions.

    no Problem here, just a well run company with decision makers doing their job.

    case closed.