Go Back   MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old Jul 12, 2014, 05:37 PM   #1
MacRumors
macrumors bot
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Apple Responds to Chinese State-Run Media Warning Against iOS Location Tracking




Earlier this week, China's state-run media broadcast labeled the iPhone a "national security concern" over Apple's Location Services feature found in iOS 7, with the country's researchers stating that the data could lead to accessing highly-sensitive data in China.

Today, Apple officially responded to the controversy on its Chinese website. The statement, which was posted in both Chinese and English, starts off by reiterating the company's commitment to privacy and stating that its Location Services exist solely to help users for activities that require navigation:
Quote:
Our customers want and expect their mobile devices to be able to quickly and reliably determine their current locations for specific activities such as shopping, travel, finding the nearest restaurant or calculating the amount of time it takes them to get to work. We do this at the device level. Apple does not track users' locations - Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.
Apple also states that it does not have access to the Frequent Locations data on any iPhone, noting that access to the information can be turned off and is only used to provide commuting information and automatic routing as requested by the user:
Quote:
Frequent Locations are only stored on a customer's iOS device, they are not backed up on iTunes or iCloud, and are encrypted. Apple does not obtain or know a user's Frequent Locations and this feature can always be turned "Off" via our privacy settings.

Apple does not have access to Frequent Locations or the location cache on any user's iPhone at any time. We encrypt the cache by the user's passcode and it is protected from access by any app.
Apple concludes the statement by saying that it has "never worked with any government agency from any country" to create backdoor access in any of its products, and vows to never allow access to its servers. Last year, the company shared a sentiment in its "Commitment to Customer Privacy" letter which was issued after the discovery of the NSA's secret intelligence program, PRISM.

China has become an increasingly important market for Apple, as the company has made moves over the past few years to improve its presence in the country. Last year, the company partnered with the region's biggest carrier China Mobile and opened more retail stores throughout populated areas. CEO Tim Cook has also made a number of visits to China, meeting with Beijing's mayor and the Chinese Vice Premier to discuss market growth.

Note: Due to the controversial nature of this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple Responds to Chinese State-Run Media Warning Against iOS Location Tracking
MacRumors is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 05:44 PM   #2
brendu
macrumors 68000
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: USA
There are definately valid security concerns in our world right now. This however is not one of them. Anything with a setting allowing you to turn it off, and which the system specifically asks you whether you want to use when you first set it up is not a concern.
brendu is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 06:09 PM   #3
bushido
macrumors 603
 
bushido's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: España y Germany
and next thing you know North Korea is complaining about the lack of "freedom of choice" in apple products
__________________
¡No hables a menos que puedas mejorar el silencio!
Don't judge me by my user name - I was young and stupid xD
bushido is offline   6 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 06:11 PM   #4
Mac32
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Very good answer by Apple, and shows yet again Apple's superiority over Prismsoft...eh...Microsoft.
Mac32 is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 06:18 PM   #5
alexgowers
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
sorry but google through android is tracking everything you do including location, to sell you crap!

Apple has always done the opposite and even has a business model to back that stance up.

I suspect the media have gotten confused as to where there arse and elbow are located at?
alexgowers is offline   5 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 06:39 PM   #6
JayLenochiniMac
macrumors 603
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: New Sanfrakota
Since when did China care about its citizens' privacy?
JayLenochiniMac is offline   10 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 06:59 PM   #7
dugbug
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLenochiniMac View Post
Since when did China care about its citizens' privacy?
They would prefer citizens use phones they themselves can track
dugbug is offline   11 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 08:19 PM   #8
macduke
macrumors 68040
 
macduke's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Columbia, MO
Probably what the Chinese are unhappy about is that they've found no way to use their citizen's iPhones to track them as they travel around China.

As a side note, this is what happens when the NSA goes around collecting information unchecked. They really make other countries nervous about buying American goods and services. Or they at least give these other countries a fairly valid point of concern to sway their population to buy locally. I see this being a significant problem over the coming decade. A "Silicon Valley" could blossom just as easily in another part of the world. We're not as special as we think we are—especially considering how far behind we are in education.
__________________
15" Retina MacBook Pro / Quad 2.6GHz Core i7 / 16GB / 512GB SSD
128GB iPhone 6 Plus / 128GB iPad Air 2 / Original iPhone & iPad
Canon 7D / 24-105L / 100-400L / Sony RX100 / Xbox One
macduke is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 09:36 PM   #9
PocketSand11
macrumors 6502a
 
PocketSand11's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: ~/
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mac32 View Post
Very good answer by Apple, and shows yet again Apple's superiority over Prismsoft...eh...Microsoft.
What does Microsoft track? Apple's in a way better position to track people (if they wish). I guess MS could get people who use Bing and Windows Phone, but those are only their own employees, who they probably already have information on.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by alexgowers View Post
sorry but google through android is tracking everything you do including location, to sell you crap!

Apple has always done the opposite and even has a business model to back that stance up.

I suspect the media have gotten confused as to where there arse and elbow are located at?
Apple has an advertising platform too. I suspect Google more because of Google+ and their other annoying stuff, but they're more annoying than scary. Who cares if somebody knows what stuff I like? Even if I didn't use AdBlock, I'd at least get more relevant ads.
__________________
'08 MP, '09 MBP, JB iPhone 5
Fun fact: iPhone 5 aspect ratio = 640/1136 ≈ .5634. 9/16 = .5625. 639/1136 = .5625. Its screen is exactly one pixel too wide to be 9:16.

Last edited by PocketSand11; Jul 12, 2014 at 09:43 PM.
PocketSand11 is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 09:36 PM   #10
FieldingMellish
macrumors 65816
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
China does not want excess freedom to undermine it as has been happening here.
FieldingMellish is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 10:02 PM   #11
Amacfa
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: May 2009
Same can't be said for google, their business model relies on it.
Amacfa is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 10:04 PM   #12
fermat-au
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
What ever Apple may think of Chinese government policy, if Apple wants to sell iPhones in China they must do so in accordance with Chinese law.

If Apple find disagree with Chinese law they are free to pull out of China. At one stage Google pulled out of China for this type of reason.

You could replace China with any other nation and replace Apple with in corporation and this would still be true.
fermat-au is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 10:39 PM   #13
iZac
macrumors 65816
 
iZac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Shanghai
It's an open secret that Microsofts version of Skype for the Chinese market (tom Skype) has a back door and word filter so that if you type anything like "xinjiang" or "bomb" or thousands of other potentially sensitive words, it sends your whole conversation back to the Chinese Government for review. Don't see anyone in China's state run media complaining about that

Quote:
Originally Posted by fermat-au View Post
What ever Apple may think of Chinese government policy, if Apple wants to sell iPhones in China they must do so in accordance with Chinese law.

If Apple find disagree with Chinese law they are free to pull out of China. At one stage Google pulled out of China for this type of reason.

You could replace China with any other nation and replace Apple with in corporation and this would still be true.
I guess this trouble is, Chinese law is flexible to how much influence your company has with the government. Recently Apple has been targeted by the state media with lots of tabloid style smear pieces for reasons unknown. It probably has a lot to do with China-US relations and would probably stop the minute the US started taking China's side in things like territorial disputes with it's neighbours. Having said that, the Chinese government said recently that iOS and Android is too dominant in the Chinese marketplace and they're developing their own state controlled OS for mobiles. Then you could guarantee they'd track everything
__________________
Robert Goulden
http://www.robgoulden.com

Last edited by iZac; Jul 12, 2014 at 10:47 PM.
iZac is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 10:42 PM   #14
SCOLANATOR
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: UK
While I don't believe Apple is actively conspiring with the NSA/GCHQ/MI5/6 or any of the other Five Eyes intelligence alliance members it definitely raises some very serious questions when an autocratic government that openly spies and monitors it's citizens which have no free speech then can call out a government agency in the free world about spying illegally on users and have some weight behind it's argument is pretty worrying.
The US and UK are heading at break neck speed towards a very scary Orwellian future and I'm usually the sort of guy that finds conspiracies like that silly. But after the NSA/GCHQ revelations and the total lack of action over it, as well as spying on world leaders (Merkel) and the anti-'terrorism' laws that were very recently rushed through parliament here I have to assume the worst and expect that my civil rights to be totally disregarded.
I usually consider UK justice to be ridiculously pathetic, but every few months I see people going to prison for an offence tweet or Facebook messages - stuff that while distasteful should by no means land you in prison - it's not in the near future, government control over our digital life's in a way I find immoral and illegal is already prolific. It needs to stop.
When governments are scared of their people there is liberty, where people are scared of their governments there is tyranny and all that. All the stuff the founding fathers said over the pond like oppressive tyrinacal governments, banks representing a bigger threat than armies etc is all happening today.

Anything to defend ourselves against them commies, or is it Muslims? Or terrorists? What's the media/governments flavour of the month?

America, c'mon please wake up. A two party system that's completely at the servitude of lobbyists is no fit way to run a democratic country.

As a Brit I am between a rock and a hard place, my government hasn't represented the people in a long time, the EU is becoming more autocratic by the day, the US is going down the toilet, Russia is kicking up a mess in the east of Europe and who do I get to realistically vote for? A complete freak of a champagne socialist and coward or a conservative who is only interested in selling off every national asset to his mates at rock bottom prices...

Christ at least in China I would be under no false pretences.
SCOLANATOR is offline   3 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 10:52 PM   #15
John.B
macrumors 68040
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Flyover Country
Settings, Privacy, Location Services, System Services, Frequent Locations
__________________
Apple develops an improved programming language. Google copied Java. Everything you need to know, right there.
MD388LL/A MG632LL/A ME344LL/A MD199LL/A MC572LL/A MD481LL/A FB463LL/A FC060LL/A
John.B is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 12, 2014, 11:58 PM   #16
MisakixMikasa
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
Quote:
Originally Posted by JayLenochiniMac View Post
Since when did China care about its citizens' privacy?
Pretty much same thing can be asked for USA as well. Since when did US care about its citizen's privacy? All I see is NSA and US soy agency monitoring everything everyone including its allies in the name of nation security.
__________________
iPad mini 1 & 2, iPad 4 WiFi and iPad 4 LTE, Nexus 4, Nexus 7, Moto G.
Android offers you so much more convince. If you just apply little bit common sense, you can avoid 99% of malware.
MisakixMikasa is offline   2 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 12:53 AM   #17
albusseverus
macrumors 6502a
 
albusseverus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
One lie negates the validity of the whole statement.

Apple WAS caught gathering all iPhone tracking data "to improve maps"! And unfortunately, this data was saved unencrypted on your phone and in backups, if you didn't put a password on your backup, leaving customers' data vulnerable.

Apple had to make a public apology and provide the means to prevent sending tracking data to Apple.

I agree that they probably don't on-sell this data like other companies, but can they really resist law enforcement and security authorities' requests for customers' data? Not without going to jail themselves.

As for co-operating with authorities, I recall an NSA hack that existed allegedly without Apple's co-operation. Agents are recruited out of university and would be placed anywhere important, including corporations like Apple. Apple wouldn't need to co-operate, only certain employees.

PR windowdressing. If the premise is a lie, the rest of the statement has to be viewed through that prism (excuse the pun).

Silicon Valley (including Apple) sold out customers data for immunity from prosecution years ago. All this humble breast beating is only a result of Silicon Valley realising how damaging that sell-out will be with their customers, worldwide. You'd know this if you listened to the No Agenda show, instead of participating in the distraction of… the latest phone…

China calling the kettle black is bad enough. Apple outright lying in response, is even lower.
albusseverus is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 01:14 AM   #18
PracticalMac
macrumors 68020
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Apple Maps still suck, how the hell can it be security concern in China (erroneous location info)???
__________________
FireWire 1394 Intelligent network guaranteed data transfer, 1500mA power, Ethernet compatible
Read: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 70% faster then USB2
Write: 160 files, 650MB total, FW400 48% faster
PracticalMac is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 02:03 AM   #19
OtherJesus
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Bay Area, California
Well these are two features that Google and Samsung will NEVER copy.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by albusseverus View Post
One lie negates the validity of the whole statement.

Apple WAS caught gathering all iPhone tracking data "to improve maps"! And unfortunately, this data was saved unencrypted on your phone and in backups, if you didn't put a password on your backup, leaving customers' data vulnerable.

Apple had to make a public apology and provide the means to prevent sending tracking data to Apple.

I agree that they probably don't on-sell this data like other companies, but enough. Apple outright lying in response, is even lower.
Let's have a source, shall we?
I think you're forming a conspiracy theory by twisting the facts. So, please, prove me wrong with a credible source link. Thanks.
OtherJesus is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 06:02 AM   #20
Eraserhead
macrumors G4
 
Eraserhead's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: UK
Quote:
Originally Posted by bushido View Post
and next thing you know North Korea is complaining about the lack of "freedom of choice" in apple products
Yeah, because China is only as free as North Korea...

Quote:
Originally Posted by FieldingMellish View Post
China does not want excess freedom to undermine it as has been happening here.
Same criticism applies to the US and UK governments.
__________________
Actually it does make sense. Man created god, so if we exist, He exists. - obeygiant
Eraserhead is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 08:57 AM   #21
philosopherdog
macrumors 6502
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
The issue here is that Americans have let the government overreact to 9/11 and now it is biting everyone in tech. The tech industry is partly to blame. The industry needs to really challenge the direction the US has taken toward fascism and so do it's citizens. Do nothing at your collective peril. Countries need to know they can trust American tech. Otherwise they won't use it. This had all gone way too far with the NSA and the government response is not persuading anyone anything has changed. Look at the US spying against Germany. The US just doesn't get it. Stupidity prevails. So sad.
philosopherdog is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 01:06 PM   #22
furi0usbee
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
When China stops blocking social networking apps, let's its citizens search the "full web," and oh yeah, offers FREEDOM, then I'll listen to their concerns. They are only mad Apple doesn't have a way for them to intercept that location information. If they could get that info, they'd keep quiet.
__________________
YouTube - Apple iPhone Support Hotline (Actual Phone Call Recording)
MacBook Pro 15" (Retina) 2.3GHz i7 / 8GB RAM  iPad mini (AT&T) (16GB)
furi0usbee is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 01:34 PM   #23
furi0usbee
macrumors 6502a
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by philosopherdog View Post
Countries need to know they can trust American tech. Otherwise they won't use it. This had all gone way too far with the NSA and the government response is not persuading anyone anything has changed. Look at the US spying against Germany. The US just doesn't get it. Stupidity prevails. So sad.
Every tech company should sign a pact NOT to ever divulge ANY information without a court order to any federal authority. Let the NSA threaten them, etc. What, they going to put them all out of business? Just go public. Look how that worked so far. If the NSA threatens you, go public. If any fed agency threatens you, go public.

Now, I have to jump through all kinds of hoops just for the appearance of security, when these companies probably give up my info anyway. Whole disk encryption, TOR, 2-factor authentication, etc. I mean having to work so your data stays secure is becoming a job. And if companies are going to hand stuff over anyway, we are almost in China.
__________________
YouTube - Apple iPhone Support Hotline (Actual Phone Call Recording)
MacBook Pro 15" (Retina) 2.3GHz i7 / 8GB RAM  iPad mini (AT&T) (16GB)
furi0usbee is offline   0 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 02:46 PM   #24
darkgoob
macrumors regular
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Right. And there are no aliens either.

Move along, nothing to see here.
darkgoob is offline   1 Reply With Quote
Old Jul 13, 2014, 05:23 PM   #25
iOSaddict
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eraserhead View Post
Yeah, because China is only as free as North Korea...



Same criticism applies to the US and UK governments.
There's nothing "same" about the nature or level of criticisms towards Chinese gov and US/UK gov.
iOSaddict is offline   0 Reply With Quote


Reply
MacRumors Forums > Mac Community > Community Discussion > Politics, Religion, Social Issues

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 03:35 AM.

Mac Rumors | Mac | iPhone | iPhone Game Reviews | iPhone Apps

Mobile Version | Fixed | Fluid | Fluid HD
Copyright 2002-2013, MacRumors.com, LLC