Apple has been granted a patent (number 10,013,567) for “private and public sharing of electronic assets.” It involves current, and perhaps future, security features for sharing info in iCloud.
The patent is for a cloud service that enables cloud data to be shared between different users in a secure manner. One embodiment involves a sharing manager and a sharing client, where the sharing manager is configured to manage various data components stored within a storage system managed by the cloud service. These data components can include user accounts, share objects (for sharing data between users--and, in some cases, public users not known to the sharing manager)--as well as various "wrapping objects" that enable data to be logically separated in an organized manner within the storage system.
Apple says that, according to this approach, the sharing client is configured to interface with the sharing manager in order to carry out various encryption/decryption techniques that enable the cloud data to be securely shared between the users. In the patent filing, Apple notes that recent years have shown a proliferation in the functionalities that are offered by cloud services, as well as the number of individuals who subscribe to these cloud services. However, there are challenges when attempting to enable different users of the cloud service to securely share data between one another. Apple wants to fix this.
Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.
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