Apple responds to Chinese accusations about iOS

Apple responds to Chinese accusations about iOS
Apple has posted a response on its Chinese web site, to accusations made by the government in the country related to a specific feature on iOS 7. The Chinese government called the Frequent Locations feature a threat to national security, and said that it could even leak "state secrets". Frequent Locations, true to its title, keeps a record of the spots that an iOS user travels to the most. That could be a job, a home, a friend's house or a favorite supermarket. Apple uses a combination of GPS, Wi-Fi and triangulation to determine the geographical coordinates of these places.

In a broadcast over state run China Central Television, the Chinese government said that the data collected by Apple could be used to grab information about China's economy and "state secrets". China quoted researches in making that comment, and said that Apple would be legally responsible if a foreign entity were to enter Apple's database to steal the data.

Apple's responded by saying that the Frequent Locations tool is available for its customers who want to know how long it will take them to run a specific set of errands. The company adamantly denied tracking users' locations, stating that it never has used this information to follow the movement of iOS users. Apple wrote that its devices do not transmit information that is unique to any user. The tech titan also said that it does not have access to any user's Frequent Locations data, and noted that the feature can be turned off by anyone who doesn't want it.


Recent data shows Apple with just 6% of the market in China, which includes the World's largest carrier in China Mobile. In this post NSA world, and with the suspicious nature of the Chinese government and the population in the country, features like Frequent Locations can't help but become a target. Apple also grappled with the Chinese government last year, when the company failed to follow the country's warranty practices. In that situation, Apple CEO Tim Cook apologized in a letter, which eliminated the tension between Apple and China. We will have to see if Apple's recent posting on its web site does the same for this issue.

source: WSJ

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