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Apple Confirms Some Encrypted iCloud User Data is Stored on Google Cloud Platform

Apple has confirmed that Google Cloud Platform is one of at least two third-party services it relies upon for storing encrypted iCloud account data, which it notes doesn't include any user-identifying information. Apple made the disclosure in the latest version of its iOS Security Guide, which was updated last month. This particular change went unnoticed until it was reported by CNBC's Jordan Novet earlier today.The encrypted chunks of the file are stored, without any user-identifying information, using third-party storage services, such as S3 and Google Cloud Platform.Previous versions of the iOS Security Guide mentioned Microsoft Azure, but Google Cloud Platform is now listed in its place. Apple also continues to rely on Amazon's S3 web service for additional storage. iCloud stores a user's contacts, calendars, photos, documents, and more, and since each file is broken into chunks and encrypted with AES-128 and SHA-256 keys, storage on Google Cloud Platform shouldn't be a security concern. Apple reached a multi-million dollar deal with Google Cloud Platform in 2016, according to reports from CRN and the Financial Times

iCloud and Siri Teams at Odds as Apple Seeks to Move Cloud Services In-House

Apple's efforts to move its cloud infrastructure in-house for its web services are being slowed by "political infighting" between the company's iCloud and Siri engineering teams, according to The Information. The paywalled report claims that the fighting is holding back Apple from fixing "technical problems that have plagued iCloud and iTunes," while at least one key engineering manager is said to have departed the company over the ongoing conflict.Steve D’Aurora, an engineering manager in a team led by Patrick Gates, resigned last week. That’s raised the possibility that Mr. D’Aurora’s superior, Darren Haas, a “head of cloud engineering,” would leave as well. Both Mr. D’Aurora and Mr. Haas joined Apple through its 2010 acquisition of Siri, the voice-activated assistant on the iPhone.Multiple sources claim that Apple is working on building its own internal cloud infrastructure, known as "Project McQueen" internally, to reduce its dependence on services like Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Apple spends an estimated $1 billion or more on cloud services each year. Apple reportedly inked a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last year to "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services, but its reliance on third-party providers should decrease as it builds or expands new data centers in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, Ireland, and Denmark.The new infrastructure is meant to help improve the reliability of iCloud and Apple’s other apps. The infrastructure work has taken on added significance this year. Apple CEO Tim Cook has

Apple Inks Deal to Use Google Cloud Platform for Some iCloud Services

Apple has signed a deal with Google that will see the Google Cloud Platform providing some of the cloud infrastructure for iCloud and other cloud-based Apple services, reports CRN (via Business Insider). Apple reportedly established a $400 to $600 million deal with Google last last year and has, as a result, "significantly" cut down on its reliance on Amazon Web Services (AWS). According to the sources, Google executives have told partners that Apple is spending between $400 million and $600 million on Google Cloud Platform, although this couldn't be independently confirmed. Also unclear is whether this range refers to an annual spending rate or a set amount of capacity.While the money Apple is now paying Google was previously spent on AWS, Apple has not stopped using Amazon's cloud computing services entirely. Apple has never confirmed the cloud services that power iCloud, but past rumors have pointed towards AWS and Microsoft Azure, suggesting Apple will continue using multiple services to meet its needs. According to The Information's Amir Efrati, who has confirmed Apple's plans, it will take a year for Apple to transition to using Google Cloud Platform. It’s true, @iCloud to be partially powered by @googlecloud. But will take a year & unlikely to be profitable. @awscloud lost $ from iCloud.— Amir Efrati (@amir) March 16, 2016 Since last year, Google has been aggressively pursuing deals for its Google Cloud Platform, led by former VMware CEO Diane Greene. Google and Amazon have been involved in ongoing pricing wars, but Google claims to be the "price/performance