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Jonathan Zdziarski goes to Apple

Previously, Jonathan Zdziarski wrote code that eventually led to much of the modern digital forensic and data extraction tools. More recently, he made Little Flocker to protect people from digital intrusion and wrote about defending data at border crossings and guarding against phishing attacks. Now he's moving on... to Apple!

From zdziarski.com:

I'm pleased to announce that I've accepted a position with Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture team, and am very excited to be working with a group of like minded individuals so passionate about protecting the security and privacy of others.This decision marks the conclusion of what I feel has been a matter of conscience for me over time. Privacy is sacred; our digital lives can reveal so much about us – our interests, our deepest thoughts, and even who we love. I am thrilled to be working with such an exceptional group of people who share a passion to protect that.

Apple's Security Engineering and Architecture team, which I think is still part of CoreOS under SVP Craig Federighi's software engineering org, is beyond terrific. Led by Ivan Krstić, it's been responsible for everything from hardening iOS, to Gate Keeper and System Integrity Protection on the Mac, to the Bug Bounty program announced late last year.

Because Apple's business isn't dependent on selling ads against customer data, and because from CEO Tim Cook on down, Apple deeply believes in customer privacy, the company is able to make security and privacy a front-facing feature. Not just in the code but in the policy and the willingness to stand up for it.

We live in a time where governments around the world, conservative and liberal alike, are abandoning and even assaulting personal privacy in the name of security.

In the current climate, not storing our data is the best way to prevent multiple collection vectors. Creating tools like differential privacy are the best ways to preserve our anonymity while still providing convenient services. Locking down devices with encryption even the manufacturer can't get into is the best way to keep hackers and foreign powers out of those devices.

That's what makes Apple the perfect place for Jonathan to continue his journey. (And his photography!)

Congrats to Jonathan and to Apple and the security team! I look very much forward to being even better protected by your code in the future!

Rene Ritchie
Contributor

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.

8 Comments
  • Let's trust Apple... They do no wrong and always consider customer first over anything. And it's pleasure listening to Rene uptalk Apple currently on Macbreak weekly. Can always guess correctly what he is going to say on any Apple topic.
  • Yea, that's kind of the thing here... either this is excellent news (if we trust Apple), or they've just hired an excellent insider who could help Apple hide things if they weren't ultimately sincere. I sure hope it's the former, and would love to have someone to trust... but Apple has been doing enough anti-UX and customer things, as of late, that I do have to wonder.
  • Look him up for yourself and decide: https://www.zdziarski.com/blog/?p=5645
  • Oh, I agree. He's been a strong advocate. I'm just saying that *if* one were trying to pull something like that, he's the type of person you'd want to have on your team, and not out in the wild, possibly opposing you. He'd also know what people like him would be looking for, etc. Again, Apple seems genuine re: privacy, and I think Jonathan seems like an honest person. It was just something I was pointing out. :) (My point, though, is that lately Apple has been far from 'pure as the driven snow' in terms of where their priorities are.)
  • I've followed him since the FBI-Apple stuff. Interestingly, his Twitter account seems to have disappeared.
  • I'm thrilled to hear this news. Looking to future of wearables and IoT, the number of on-line devices doubles every 6 years (I made this up). We either have security at the device level, or not. Without security, we're open to an ever increasing number of threats.
  • "Trust no one, Mr. Mulder".
  • I'm pretty excited about this. Followed his input to Apple in the news. I was hoping this would happen. My personal hope is that this is a step toward "zero-knowledge" iCloud storage, which SpiderOak already has.