As much as people like to talk up Apple as a privacy advocate, it’s rarely a bright line with an either/or position.
Buried in a macOS 12.3 release (with general availability two days ago) was an important change to the data flow of user files.
The kernel extensions used by the Dropbox desktop app and Microsoft OneDrive are no longer available. Both service providers have replacements for this functionality currently in beta. (85890896)
That means macOS 12.3 no longer allows opening any files stored in the cloud through third-party applications; users must instead download all files with Apple’s macOS Finder before opening them with any other applications.
That basically kills the entire access model of a product like Dropbox “Smart Sync“, which is built on the premise someone can avoid downloading files to a local system, managing permissions entirely through an app instead.
Stop worrying about hard drive limits. Sync only what you need, and access all your files seamlessly from your desktop or mobile.
There are privacy implications here, as well as control issues, and it will be interesting to see whether Apple can justify the changes within a context of privacy.
On a related note, macOS 12.3 security content also discloses a huge number of major flaws such as “bypass login” and “execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges” and “malicious application may be able to gain root”.
Lots of good reasons to not download files to a local system, let alone give the OS any more access than necessary.
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