It seems as though Apple is hard at work on new features for OS X 10.7 Lion this summer, and the latest possible addition to the OS is something that would solve a huge problem plaguing the tech world today -- insecurity with remote file storage. According to this find by Patently Apple, we may see a new "Safe Deposit Box" in Lion that aims to protect your files using cloud architecture in the same way that a physical safe deposit box protects your assets at a bank or other location.
The basic idea described in the patent revolves around a single icon that, when the user drops a file onto it, would instantly upload and protect the file using Apple-backed cloud servers (which could possibly be located at their new $1 billion North Carolina data center). All of one's secure files would then be available by logging into the Safe Deposit Box service with a user name and password. For enhanced security, the patent also mentions a small window of time before the login expires to prevent accidental viewing of files by other individuals. This storage center would presumably also store digital copies of iTunes purchases, therefore solving the age old problem of losing your precious collection of tunes in a hard drive failure.
We've seen similar technology in OS X already with FileVault, which encrypts and stores secure files on the fly. However, we've never seen deep internet-based secure storage from Apple, and it would be a welcome addition for those of us who are working with sensitive documents on multiple Macs (I know I'd be more comfortable with this than, say, Dropbox). It certainly looks like a step in the right direction. Let's hope that this idea is under active development at the big fruit company.