Chinese State-Run Media Labels iPhone's Location Tracking a 'National Security Concern'

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MacRumors, Jul 11, 2014.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    China's state-run media broadcast today labeled Apple's location tracking services found iOS 7 and the iPhone a "national security concern", reports The Wall Street Journal. The broadcast cited researchers who said that those with access to the country's location data could gain "knowledge of the broader situation in China" and perhaps even state secrets.

    The Chinese government said that it began developing these concerns about U.S. technology companies after the discovery of PRISM last year, which is a secret intelligence program ran by the NSA. In its broadcast, China's state run media said that Apple would need to "take on any legal responsibilities" if any data leaks harmed citizens.

    Last year, a privacy lawsuit concerning Apple's location tracking services in iOS was dismissed by the US District Court of Northern California. The suit alleged that Apple was collecting location data in violation of its own privacy laws, however Judge Lucy Koh ruled that the plaintiffs had not provided sufficient evidence.

    In the U.S., Apple has made a number of privacy-related moves in the past year, choosing to notify users of information requests from law enforcement and backing congressional bills to increase transparency in government surveillance.

    The news also comes as Apple has made efforts towards improving its presence in China over the past few years, which include partnering with the country's biggest carrier China Mobile and opening new Apple Stores in populated regions. CEO Tim Cook has also visited the country numerous times, meeting with government officials and China Mobile executives to discuss market growth. Apple also became China's fifth-largest smartphone vendor in Q4 2013, taking 7% of the total market share in the country.

    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: Chinese State-Run Media Labels iPhone's Location Tracking a 'National Security Concern'
  2. dragje macrumors 6502a


    May 16, 2012
    Amsterdam, The Netherlands
    Is this just not negotiable with the Chinese government? Surely these "secret" locations consist less then 1% of all the maps in China to begin with. Just "blur" the region out, done.
  3. Xenc macrumors 65816


    May 8, 2010
    London, England
    Wouldn't this apply to more than just the iPhone?
  4. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Perhaps that's closer to the real concern. It seems a bit disengenuous for China to claim concern for the privacy of its citizens.
  5. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    To YOU yes. They’re suggesting that they don’t trust the US. Hell neither do I, (the germans don’t either BTW), I’m sure you see why. They’ve not demonstrated that they can't be trusted or fair.
  6. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    Same applies to the US or UK.
  7. iOSaddict macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    Yeah I'm sure it's the same living in the US/UK and in China. :rolleyes:
  8. H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    It’s probably closer than you think. They moan about the state monitoring their comms yet what’s happening here, (and this is only the stuff they admit)?
    The, ‘free world’ isn’t necessarily what we think it is. In fact if you look at extraordinary rendition the free, advanced and developed world just commit their crimes elsewhere.
    There is a lot I am aware of and have seen that would make you raise your eyebrows about western governments.
  9. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    I'm sure China is worse, but let's not pretend to be vastly better here.
  10. Zxxv macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2011
    well you know the solution. Make your own phone thats better than iPhone. Then only you can have access to all that info.
  11. 2010mini macrumors 68040

    Jun 19, 2013
    Same as when people were attacking McDonalds for making their kids fat. But left out all the rest of the food companies that make the same fatty foods
  12. LV426 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 22, 2013
    Settings | Privacy | Location Services > Off

    I imagine it says something rather similar in Chinese, if you can be bothered to look for it.
  13. OtherJesus macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2005
    Bay Area, California
    What happened to you, China? You used to be cool.
  14. iOSaddict macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2014
    As someone who moved to a Western country from a communist state, I dont think you know what it's like to be living under a communist regime, so I advise you kindly think a bit before you talk so eloquently about unfree life.
  15. Eraserhead macrumors G4


    Nov 3, 2005
    When was that? Before 1989 when actually their human rights record was worse?


    China is much freer than the communist states used to be.
  16. John.B macrumors 601


    Jan 15, 2008
    Holocene Epoch
    In iOS 7, Location Services are opt in. Someone has to turn it on, it's disabled by default.

    Settings -> Privacy -> Location Services -> System Services -> Frequent Locations.

    It can also be turned on and off at the service or app level, and you can see when it's being used and by what service or app.
  17. mabhatter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 3, 2009
    It was China that took four years to ALLOW iPhone to be operated AT ALL because they were concerned that Internet posting from the devices by their people was not SUFFICENTLY TRACEBLE in the first place for the Government to properly monitor the goodwill of its people.
  18. krravi macrumors 65816

    Nov 30, 2010
    The biggest national security concern for the US is the fact that these phones are being made in China!
  19. Nunyabinez macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2010
    Provo, UT
    I was wondering why Xi Jinping hadn't accepted my Find My Friends request. Now I know.
  20. H2SO4, Jul 11, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 11, 2014

    H2SO4 macrumors 601

    Nov 4, 2008
    I’ve done it.

    This is going to get very political, so I’ll be leaving…...
  21. Peel macrumors 6502a


    Aug 30, 2004
    I don't think its the map itself that their concerned about. But if certain officials are seen traveling regularly between specific locations, it might be enough for foreign spies (using data collected legally or illegally from Apple) to build a dossier that leads to uncovering specific government/business links.

    Or maybe I've just read too much Jean Le Carre and Tom Clancy.
  22. Drunken Master macrumors 65816

    Drunken Master

    Jul 19, 2011
  23. jnpy!$4g3cwk macrumors 65816


    Feb 11, 2010
    One of the great things about Google Earth/Maps is that it makes this sort of nonsense obsolete. Does the Great Firewall block access to Google Earth/Maps? I guess the government thinks that most citizens are not familiar with it?
  24. Val-kyrie macrumors 68000

    Feb 13, 2005
    I posted elsewhere (with a link to the source) that China has already been contemplating an outright ban of Apple and Google products allegedly due to fears of NSA spying. Anandtech also mentions, however, that China is encouraging its own companies to copy and reproduce products sold by Apple and Google, hardware and software (their homebrew OS already looks a lot like OS X). I believe the NSA spying debacle is only a smokescreen for their real reasons, which are likely many.
  25. mrxak macrumors 68000

    Apr 16, 2004
    Drifting through space in a broken escape pod
    So glad the NSA is looking out for American interests by destroying the reputations of American businesses around the world and hurting the American economy.

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