Apple creating a cloud-based FileVault?

Today’s Apple rumor mill mentions the possibility that Mac OS 10.7 Lion will ship with a cloud-based FileVault, allowing encrypted file storage on Apple’s servers. The rumor comes about thanks to the release of a new Apple patent that has been seen on the Patently Apple website.

The aim of the cloud-based feature would be to protect users files when they are uploaded to the cloud; the article states that it would be similar to a real life safe deposit box.

The idea seems to be that a new icon will be placed on either the dock or the desktop and allow a user to drag and drop a file onto it. Doing so will upload the file to the Apple servers where it will be encrypted and available for you to use, once you login with your user name and password.

Patently Apple mentions that a user will be automatically logged out after a short period of time, to lessen the chance of unauthorized users being able to view your files.

At the moment Apple’s OS X users can already take advantage of file encryption thanks to the FileVault application built into the operating system, which can encrypt, protect and store users files locally very easily. 

It will be interesting to see if many users take to this kind of cloud-application from Apple, firstly because of the security risks if someone manages to get your login details. Secondly, what will happen if the cloud storage device fails, causing the loss of important files? Does this mean a local backup always be required?

Image Source: Patently Apple

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