The transition will take place on February 28th and will only concern users in China. A company owned by the Guizhou government will have access to the data. The technological giant ensures respect for privacy. A new way for Beijing to control citizens and residents in China.
Beijing (AsiaNews / Agencies) – Apple has confirmed that from February 28 its iCloud services in China will go to a Chinese company. The American company has contacted its Chinese customers to inform them by asking them to examine the new terms and conditions. The new clauses include one that gives the technological giant and the Chinese brand access to all the saved data.
Apple justifies the move by stating that it must comply with the regulations of the country, and that it will have no impact on utilities registered outside of China.
A user who prefers anonymity says: "In reality, Apple is selling data from its Chinese customers, violating their privacy, to exploit the Chinese Internet market, abroad, it portrays itself as a defender of user rights, but in China prefers to bow down to power ".
The current cyber security rules date back to July of last year, and include the obligation for companies that trade on Chinese soil to save all data in China. The Chinese company in question is Guizhou on the big data cloud (Gcbd), owned by the provincial government in Guizhou, in the south of the country. Right here, Apple has opened a data center worth one billion dollars.
Customers who prefer not to use the cloud service managed by Gcbd will be able to cancel their account.
For its part, the technology giant says that the "partnership" with the Gcbd "will improve the speed and reliability of iCloud services", and ensures that privacy and data security will be maintained.
According to some observers on social media, this move will provide Beijing with an additional opportunity to monitor citizens and residents in the country. As a rule, iCloud services are used to save photos and documents.
Apple had already been criticized for removing several Virtual private networks (Vpn) from its App Store in China. The software was used to circumvent the censorship and restrictions on internet access. Also on that occasion, the company had justified the decision with the need to adapt to Beijing's rules. Executive Director Tim Cook defended himself by stating that he "would rather not" do it, and hoped that the restrictions would be "lightened" over time. "
The Chinese government already exercises widespread controls over the internet and has sought to codify that policy in law. Officials say internet restrictions, including the blocking of popular foreign sites like Google and Facebook, are needed to ensure security in the face of rising threats, such as terrorism, and stop the spread of damaging rumors.
Leaking news about social emergencies will be punishable by fines of between 5,000 to 10,000 euros. The clampdown on blogs and internet sites is also increasing. AsiaNews is one of the blocked sites.