Apple apparently does not use the Trusted Platform Module (TPM) in its Intel chips. This is by and large good news since it means greater freedom for users. Apple could use this module to lock out music for example that was not bought on iTunes, or is not in a specific format, rendering a lot of illegally downloaded music unusable. While there are many in the music industry that might applaud the use of Trusted Computing, and while it is not illegal for Apple to do so, Apple has wisely chosen not to lock out its users.
An interesting post by Amit Singh here further describes how the TPM module is being used by Apple as well as an Open Source (Free Software) driver which allows users to take advantage of the encryption capabilities within the TPM.
Below are some salient points from the Executive Summary of the article:
* Regardless of what the media has been harping on for a long time, and regardless of what system attackers have been saying about the “evil TPM protection” Apple uses, Apple is doing no TPM-related evil thing. In fact, Apple is doing no TPM-related cryptographic thing at all in Mac OS X. Yes, I know, there has been much talk of “TPM keys” and such, but there are no TPM keys that Apple is hiding somewhere.
* More specifically, Apple simply does not use the TPM hardware. In Apple computer models that do contain a TPM, the hardware is available for use by the machine’s owner. Of course, to use it you need a device driver, which Apple indeed doesn’t provide.
* I ( Amit Singh ) am releasing an open source TPM driver for Mac OS X, along with Mac OS X versions of popular open source trusted computing software from the Linux world. No reverse engineering was required to write this driver.