iMessage Contact Key Verification Added in iOS 17.2 and macOS Sonoma 14.2
Apple’s latest iOS 17.2 and macOS Sonoma 14.2 updates introduce a new feature called iMessage Contact Key Verification. This feature, which was first previewed by Apple in December of last year, is designed for individuals who face “extraordinary digital threats,” such as journalists, human rights activists, and government officials.
iMessage Contact Key Verification allows users to verify the identity of the person they’re corresponding with, providing an added layer of security and privacy. It is available in the iOS 17.2, iPadOS 17.2, macOS Sonoma 14.2, and watchOS 10.2 betas.
How Does iMessage Contact Key Verification Work?
iMessage Contact Key Verification utilizes Key Transparency to enable automatic verification of the iMessage key distribution service. This ensures that device keys returned by the service have been logged to a verifiable and auditable map.
When a user enables Contact Key Verification, they will receive notifications about any validation errors directly in the Messages conversation transcript and Apple ID Settings. This allows users to be informed if a malicious entity manages to breach cloud data servers and eavesdrop on conversations.
Additionally, iMessage Contact Key Verification includes a Contact Verification Code that can be used in person, on FaceTime, or through another secure call. This code provides users with an extra method of verifying their contacts’ identities.
To turn on iMessage Contact Key Verification, all devices signed into an iCloud account must have the iOS 17.2 beta, macOS 17.2 beta, and/or watchOS 10.2 beta.
Benefits of iMessage Contact Key Verification
The main benefit of iMessage Contact Key Verification is the enhanced privacy and security it provides to users. By allowing individuals to verify the identity of their contacts, it helps prevent unauthorized access to their conversations and protects against possible data breaches.
For individuals facing digital threats, such as journalists and activists, this feature offers peace of mind and ensures that their communications remain confidential and secure.
iMessage Contact Key Verification is a valuable addition to the iOS 17.2 and macOS Sonoma 14.2 updates. By allowing users to verify the identity of their contacts, it enhances privacy and security for individuals who face extraordinary digital threats. This feature ensures that conversations remain confidential and protected, giving users peace of mind. To take advantage of iMessage Contact Key Verification, users must have the iOS 17.2 beta, macOS 17.2 beta, and/or watchOS 10.2 beta installed on all devices signed into their iCloud account.