Apple reportedly makes data less secure for users in China

Apple reportedly makes data less secure for users in China

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The growing authoritarian demands of the Chinese government have reportedly changed how Apple does business.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook often presents his company as one Security and privacy bastion. He says privacy should be a human right, and he points to the company Consistent inclusion of encryption And other protective technologies as evidenced by this. But The New York Times detailed in a story published on Monday how Apple has swiftly avoided the Chinese government’s demands, ultimately undermining users’ privacy and speech in that country.

The Central to the Times story is a new datacenter of the company’s building in Guiyang, China, to be completed next month. The Times said that Apple’s servers would store Chinese users’ information, and even though it would be protected by encryption, the key to unlock those files would also be stored in China. The Times said it potentially made them available to the Chinese government. According to the report, Chinese government employees physically control and operate the datacenter.

“In its data centers, Apple’s agreements make it nearly impossible for the company to block the Chinese government from gaining access to the emails, photos, documents, contacts and locations of millions of Chinese residents, according to security experts and Apple engineers.” The Times said.

Apple told the Times that it followed laws in China and did “everything it could” to protect users’ data. “We have never compromised the security of our users or their data operating in China or anywhere,” the company told the Times. And repeated when asked for further comment.

A spokesman for Apple also told the Times that the company still controls encryption keys for customer data, and that it uses more advanced encryption technology there than in other countries.

The revelations in the Times story underscore the extent to which tech companies Including google, Wikipedia And Microsoft Running against local laws and getting entangled in politics, along with their products are fast becoming an indispensable part of our lives. Governments around the world are backing down on privacy technologies in particular, saying that they Sometimes pose a national security risk. The Chinese government, in particular, appears to have made forced concessions from Apple.

China is one of Apple’s most important regions, accounting for about 15% of its revenue last year and where most of its products converge. The Times said that the Chinese government is able to leverage that importance to make deals with Apple to hand over some control of user data to an external firm owned by the Chinese government.

But Apple is not just vying for the demands of Chinese customers. Apple also censored its App Store, the Times wrote, adding that the company said it does so to comply with local laws. Topic Apple censors include the following mentions 1989 Tianmen Square Massacre, Mention of the spiritual movement Falun Gong, the Dalai Lama, and independence for Tibet or Taiwan.

The Times wrote, citing its own analysis, “Since 2017, nearly 55,000 active apps have disappeared from Apple’s App Store in China, most of which are available in other countries.” “There were more than 35,000 app games among them, which would have to get approval from regulators in China. The remaining 20,000 cut across a wide range of categories, including foreign news outlets, gay dating services and encrypted messaging apps. Apple organized the pro The tool is also blocked. – Opposition to democracy and internet restrictions as well as apps about the Dalai Lama. “

Apple reportedly disputed the figures, stating that some developers chose to pull their apps on their own.

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