At the end of last year, Apple, a tool that the company said would allow those facing “unique digital threats” to protect their conversations from malicious actors. At the time, the company promised the security feature would arrive in 2023. Now, more than two weeks before , it looks like iMessage Contact Key Verification may arrive with the release of iOS 16.6.
As first reported by , Apple began rolling out the first iOS 16.6 beta on Friday, and among the features the release adds is iMessage Contact Key Verification. A new option within the Settings app indicates that Apple is working on the tool, but, for now, enabling Contact Key Verification does not appear to activate the feature. MacRumors thinking it might be because the company hasn’t fully implemented iMessage Contact Key Verification yet.
Once it arrives, iMessage Contact Key Verification will, if everyone in an iMessage conversation has the feature enabled, send an automatic alert when Apple detects that someone has added a rogue device to an account. The company envisions the feature protecting activists, government officials and journalists from state-sponsored hackers. This is one of the last features Apple is expected to add to iOS 16 before the company shifts its full attention to iOS 17.