iOS 16.6 introduces iMessage contact key verification. A security novelty announced some time ago by Apple is coming soon. The iOS 16.6 beta includes iMessage contact key verification, although it is not yet clear if the function is already active in the first beta.
Right now, there’s an iMessage Contact Key Verification setting available in the Settings app, but tapping it doesn’t activate any actual features. It is likely that the feature may require additional settings such as security keys to be turned on or may not be fully implemented yet.
Announced late last year, iMessage Contact Key Verification allows users facing “extraordinary digital threats,” such as journalists, human rights activists and government officials, to further verify that they are only sending messages with the people they really intend to send them to. . In conversations between users who have iMessage Contact Key Verification enabled, users are warned if an attacker ever manages to breach the cloud servers and enter their device to intercept the conversation.
As an added layer of security, iMessage Contact Key Verification users can compare a contact verification code in person, on FaceTime, or via another secure call to further verify that they’re only communicating with those they really mean to.
Apple said iMessage Contact Key Verification will be available on iPhones and other Apple devices during 2023, and it’s one of the last features we expect to see in iOS 16.
iMessage contact key verification was initially announced alongside security keys for the Apple ID, a feature enabled in iOS 16.3.