Apple stores iCloud data on state-owned China Servers



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A recently published New York Times report has revealed that Apple’s iCloud security for China-based users might have been compromised in an attempt of the company to please China’s authorities.

The main topics of the much-discussed report that was published on Monday revolve around the iPhone maker’s efforts to comply with Chinese cybersecurity regulations and store data of its Chinese customers in locally-based servers.

For Apple, China is one of the largest and most profitable markets. However, according to the information published in the NYT report, the company seems to have given control over its own ecosystem at the expense of its Chinese customers’ privacy.

The publication states that the tech giant has closely collaborated with a government-affiliated Guizhou- Cloud Big Data service provider to create a special loophole, which permits the Chinese government access to the locally stored user data.

The report also reveals that a new clause has been added in the iCloud service agreement that states that all that that users store in the service can be accessed by Apple and GCBD.

In the report, it is also noted that GCBD staff maintains a great deal of control over how iCloud functions in China, while Apple only observes the operations from outside the country.

A lot of criticism has been thrown at Apple regarding its censorship and business dealings in China over the years.

In relation to this, the iPhone maker has set a number of tools and staff in place to monitor applications that mentioned specific restricted topics.

Obviously, in China, the tech giant has applied different policies on privacy than the ones that are set in the US.

A notable point that the New York Times report is making is that when moving Chinese user data to local servers, Apple promised to manage that data in accordance with its strict company privacy policy.

However, the publication points out that the encryption keys that are intended to secure the local data centers where that data is stored are kept in China now,  instead of in the United States, which potentially could provide the Chinese authorities with access to the user data.

That stated, evidence of iCloud data been accessed by the Chinese government have not been found.

In response to the report, Apple said that it complied with the Chinese laws and has done all it could to secure its consumer data.

Apple’s representative said in a statement that the company controls the keys that secure the data of its Chinese customers and that these China-based data servers are protected with the most powerful encryption technology the tech giant has.

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