Apple brings iCloud to China: how it will affect users and their data -


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Friday, 2 March 2018

Apple brings iCloud to China: how it will affect users and their data

A few days ago we told you with concern that Apple would have part of its iCloud files in the Google cloud . Apple is a company that maximizes its security and that protects our personal data both from our device and those that we upload to the cloud, making them completely anonymous.

His zeal in this area has caused institutions like the FBI to criticize Tim Cook for avoiding thanks to his powerful encryption that the intelligence services can hack iPhone of suspects.

Unfortunately, this maximum security is called into question when third parties are responsible for safeguarding our data or that these are stored in a country that exercises strict control over its citizens such as China.

In fact, recently an NGO of the stature of Amnesty International has published a controversial post entitled "When Profits Threaten Privacy - 5 Things You Need to Know about Apple in China.", Or what is the same, "When the benefits threaten the privacy, 5 things you should know about Apple in China. "

In the article we can read how it will affect the users that Apple stores its cloud in the Asian country in an explicit manner and the truth is to start shaking .

What Apple with China is a drop of full-fledged pants , and sorry for the expression. If recently the signature of the bitten apple had been criticized for agreeing to remove VPN apps from the App Store China, now the Asian government will be able to put their noses in and monitor users' information with total freedom.
What has changed in Apple's iCloud?

The key to everything is between the relationship of the Chinese company that provides the services to Apple, Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry Development Co., and the government of the country. And is that when Chinese users accept the terms of the iCloud service in China, they implicitly agree that the authorities may request it if they deem it appropriate .

As we mentioned earlier, the data that goes to the cloud is anonymous . And to date, the encryption of this data was stored in the United States, far from the data itself and making it impossible to access it for diplomatic and legal reasons.

Ronald Deibert, director of the Citizen Laboratory of the University of Toronto, explains it clearly Patently Apple :

    In the past, if the Chinese authorities wanted to access the data of Apple users, they had to initiate an international legal process and request the keys to the United States, where they clashed with its laws. They no longer have to do it, since both are under Chinese jurisdiction. The problem is that Chinese cybersecurity laws often require data.

But, what happens when the encryption keys are also stored in Chinese territory? Very simple: that someone could cross the data claiming that it is for a police investigation against terrorism or against the regime. After all, the law allows it.

Taking into account that the Chinese law does not guarantee the protection of privacy, freedom of expression and other fundamental rights, Amnesty International insists that human rights could be violated . What will Apple do about it? Will your company policy prevail over Chinese law?

Sophie Richardson, the director of the NGO Human Rights Watch in China, explains to CNN :

    Will Apple challenge the laws adopted by the Chinese government that give the authorities full access to data, with special interest in encryption keys?

What does Apple say?

China is a country with an authoritarian regime and a long history of human rights violations and often uses censorship. Knowing it, Apple users in China should take extra caution with what they upload to the cloud .

With this huge controversy in which privacy clashes with the benefits of Apple, which we suspect will have opted for the Asian country for economic reasons , a spokesman for the firm of the bitten apple has spoken for CNN :

    Most of these users have already accepted that everything remains as it is. In fact, more than 99.9% of iCloud users have chosen to continue using the service.

Pretty sad, really. And is that Apple is known and recognized for fighting for just causes, such as American wet backs and gay marriage , but seems to have turned their backs on their Chinese customers .

Obviously the ultimate goal of a company is to achieve benefits. But for some time now, something else has been expected to contribute to society by making it better , a term that is known as Corporate Social Responsibility .

Requiring them to fight against undemocratic regimes may be too much, but asking them to at least not enter their game falls within what is expected . After all Apple is a firm with a brutal impact, so their actions and words have a huge draft. 

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