The iOS 16.6 and iPadOS 16.6 betas that Apple released today appear to include iMessage Contact Key Verification, though it is not yet clear if the feature is functional in the first beta.
There is an iMessage Contact Key Verification setting available in the Settings app, but tapping it does not appear to activate any actual feature. It may require additional settings to be on such as Security Keys, or it may not yet be fully implemented.
Announced late last year, iMessage Contact Key Verification is designed for Apple users who are facing “extraordinary digital threats.” Apple intends for iMessage Contact Key Verification to be used by journalists, human rights activists, government officials, and others who are in danger of malicious digital attacks from state-sponsored attackers or other malicious actors.
iMessage Contact Key Verification lets Apple device owners verify that they are messaging with the people they intend to message rather than a malicious entity that has intercepted a message or is eavesdropping on a conversation. In a conversation between two or more people who have enabled iMessage Contact Key Verification, Apple will send an alert if the cloud servers are ever breached and a conversation is vulnerable to an intrusion.
Users who enable this feature can also compare a Contact Verification Code in person, on FaceTime, or through another secure app to further verify their identity and who they are communicating with.
Apple said that iMessage Contact Key Verification would be available on the iPhone and other Apple devices at some point in 2023, and it is one of the last features we are expecting to see in iOS 16.
iMessage Contact Key Verification was initially announced alongside Security Keys for Apple ID, a feature that was enabled in iOS 16.3.
(Thanks, Steve Moser!)
This article, “iOS 16.6 Beta Lays Groundwork for iMessage Contact Key Verification” first appeared on MacRumors.com
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