Apple enlists security team to bolster CareKit encryption

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Screen Shot 2017-01-11 at 14.04.27
CareKit is Apple's most recent dive into mobile healthcare.
Photo: Apple

Apple has partnered with security firm Tresorit to offer CareKit developers extra privacy options. In doing so, it makes it more straightforward for hospitals to use Apple’s CareKit platform, by allowing it to more closely meet regulations about patient data.

Called ZeroKit, Tresorit’s security technology includes user authentication for patients and healthcare workers, end-to-end encryption of health data, and “zero knowledge” sharing of health data, meaning that data isn’t shared with any service as it transfers.

From tiny innovations to big brawls, this is how Apple rolled in 2016

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Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Thank Jobs, 2016 is finally over!
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

2016 Year in Review Cult of Mac 2016 sent Apple for a wild ride full of fantastic new products, crazy controversies and tons of extra drama with its rivals.

Tim Cook and his colleagues probably can’t wait to jump into 2017. But before we start looking toward Apple’s future, let’s take a quick look back at all the stories that made 2016 a year Apple fans will never forget.

Russia wants Apple to unlock Turkish assassin’s iPhone

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Siri made its debut on the iPhone 4s almost four years ago.
The iPhone belonged to the off-duty policeman who shot the Russian ambassador to Turkey.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has another iPhone-unlocking conundrum on its hands! This time the request reportedly comes from Russian and Turkish authorities, who want Apple to help bypass the PIN code on an iPhone 4s recovered at the scene of the recent murder of Andrei Karlov, Russia’s ambassador to Turkey.

Europe rules U.K. ‘snooper’s charter’ is illegal

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iPhone hack
It seems that European courts agree with Apple about government spying.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The European Union’s highest court has ruled that the U.K.’s Investigatory Powers Act, aka the “snooper’s charter,” is illegal.

The EU objects to the government’s “general and indiscriminate” retention of emails and other electronic communications. While the EU acknowledges that this information can be helpful, they argue that it should only be gathered in specific targeted instances to stop terrorism or serious crime.

New York district attorney calls for federal law to unlock seized iPhones

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iPhone 7 back
Law enforcement officials still want Apple to hack the iPhone.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance wants the Trump administration to help create federal legislation requiring Apple and Google to remove default encryption from their smartphones.

The recommendation comes from the DA office’s second report on Smartphone Encryption and Public Safety, presented by Vance at the opening of the Manhattan DA’s new cyberlab. New York County is currently sitting on 423 iPhones it can’t break into, even with a warrant, so the DA’s office is pushing for change.

U.K. prime minister takes possible shot at Apple for refusing to help fight terrorists

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Theresa May hasn't always been Apple's biggest fan.
Photo: Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Apple’s pro-encryption privacy standoff with the FBI may not have been in the news too much as of late, but Apple’s strong stance in favor of encryption continues to ruffle feathers among authorities.

Today. U.K. prime minister Theresa May gave a speech at the Tory party conference, in which she took what many are calling a veiled dig against Apple by referring to a “household name” that is refusing to work with officials to fight terrorism.

This convenient VPN is part browser, part web extension [Deals]

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This VPN operates as a desktop app and browser extension, making it as easy to use as email.
This VPN operates as a desktop app and browser extension, making it as easy to use as email.
Photo: Cult of Mac Deals

When you hear the term ‘virtual private network’, or VPN, your eyes might glaze over as you suddenly hit your limit for nerdiness tolerance. Despite all the great reasons to use a VPN — anonymous and more secure browsing, avoiding geo-restrictions, so on — it can seem like something reserved for those with a deep technical understanding of computers. Windscribe is an example of a VPN made to be simple — operating as both a simple browser extension and desktop app, it’s easy to set up and use, and right now you can get it for just $39.99 at Cult of Mac Deals.