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Home ยป End-to-end encryption and why major cloud storage providers don’t like it

End-to-end encryption and why major cloud storage providers don’t like it

The phrase "end-to-end encrypted" may have already shown up on your social media or on the internet, and you might have a rough idea about what it means. The idea is that you are transmitting information only to the intended recipient. That seems more natural on the internet  after all, your data travels through multiple hops before reaching its final destination.

While this is a common practice in general, it is uncommon in cloud storage. Major platforms rarely provide end-to-end encryption. While they may encrypt your data, they may also be able to decrypt it. You have granted them access to your data, which they may use in any way they see fit.

End-to-end encryption and why major cloud storage providers don't like it

What is end-to-end encryption

Encryption is the process of scrambling data contained within files in such a way that it cannot be read by unauthorized parties. At the other end, anyone with the encryption key decrypts, or unscrambles, the data. When you send data via a messaging service or the cloud, it is routed through these third-party servers before being delivered to the intended recipient.

End-to-end encryption ensures that your data remains secure until it reaches the device of the intended recipient. This means that any third parties in the middle, as well as anyone else who intercepts the data, will be unable to read the content. Given the amount of data we store in the cloud and the extent to which we rely on third parties for nearly all of our online interactions, end-to-end encryption is critical for maintaining the privacy of your data.

End-to-end encryption and why major cloud storage providers don't like it

Advantages of End-to-end encryption.

End-to-end encryption has a number of obvious advantages over "cleartext" encryption (when messages or data are sent in their entirety without encryption) and encryption-in-transit encryption. For one thing, it is safeguarded at every stage.

When an application employs encryption-in-transit, it means that the service you're using owns the key used to encrypt and decrypt the message at the server. This creates a vulnerability and a path for hackers or malicious actors to intercept your data before it reaches its intended destination. Gmail is an example of a service that employs encryption-in-transit, which means that Google has access to the content of your messages if they have the encryption key.

Disadvantages of End-to-end encryption.

End-to-end encryption is not the ideal solution for every type of communication requirement. If an app's communication is completely encrypted, it may be unable to provide additional features such as contextual services based on the message's content or the ability to automatically generate calendar invites, message history, and other features.

Simply put, data is invisible to all parties except the sender and receiver, which is not always desirable. End-to-end privacy may be compromised if a third party gains physical access to either end of the transmission - they can not only read existing messages, but also send new ones. That is why it is critical to secure your device with passwords, passcodes, or biometrics.

While end-to-end encryption can prevent anyone from reading the content of your messages (including, in general, the government and law enforcement), it does not conceal or encrypt the metadata. This means that even if the content of messages is encrypted, it is possible to determine who you sent them to and when.

Why cloud storage providers don’t like End to End Encryption ?

End-to-end encryption and why major cloud storage providers don't like it

You'd think that the most secure cloud providers would benefit from end-to-to-end encryption, so it would be an obvious sales feature. It's strange that cloud storage service providers don't offer it on their own platforms, seeing that it's standard across WhatsApp and the web.

A benign reason is that they want to offer you convenience and also need to be able to share and access your data from different locations on their servers. They still have your data, regardless of whether it is encrypted or not. Cynics will suspect that it's because they want your data, though A significant number of the richest tech companies derive their income from selling personal information, often in the form of advertising or outright.

Many file download service providers take a subscription fee, but the real money comes from selling their users' personal information. Even if they don't want to protect it, it's understandable. It's the most important of their operations. They make their money that way, and it's a service to me.

That makes sense, but why aren't they up front about it? Everyone talks about protecting the data security and privacy, but does so abstractly, never in their terms of service. They will argue that their system offers encryption, which assures your data is protected with the HTTPS standard. This does not preclude them from viewing or selling your information. The majority of online services have unfettered access to your personal information.

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