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Apple Can’t Resist Playing by China’s Rules - Update: iCloud keys now stored at external Chinese company

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Update:

"Apple has already bent over backwards in a bid to keep doing business in China, but it'll have to bend a little further. As of the end of February, the company will host mainland Chinese users' iCloud keys on servers located within the country -- and they'll be jointly run by a state-backed company, Guizhou Cloud Big Data Industry."

https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/25/apple-will-store-icloud-keys-in-china/

Original article:

In the US, Apple paints a picture of privacy for it's users, but in China this is increasingly being questioned. People say if you want to do business in other countries you have to play by their rules. At what point is earning a profit more important than compromising user rights?

In a 2015 interview with NPR, the Apple chief executive Tim Cook emphasized that privacy "is a fundamental human right that people have," from a "values point of view," not "a commercial interest point of view."
Unfortunately, it now seems that such "values" are taking a back seat to profits.

In this New York Times Op-Ed piece from Chen Guangcheng (check out his first hand experience of human right abuses by the Chinese regime on his Wikipedia page, Note: Wikipedia banned in China), Guangcheng argues humans should be treated equally at home or abroad.

>New York Times Link< (direct)

>New York Times Link< (via Google)

Here is one critical point he makes:

Customers registered in China, according to Apple’s new terms and conditions agreement for the country, must "understand and agree that Apple and G.C.B.D. will have access to all data that you store on this service, including the right to share, exchange and disclose all user data, including content, to and between each other under applicable law."

In short, all personal user information stored on the iCloud — including photos, videos, text files, contacts, calendars and iCloud email — will be shared with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data and could be available to the Chinese authorities as well. Apple has said that G.C.B.D. will not have access to the personal data stored in its facility without Apple’s permission, but the new terms and conditions agreement appears to say the opposite.

"Instead of aiding dictatorships and following a misguided path to the future, Apple should return to its core values and protect the rights of its users at home and abroad."

In the end he's arguing for social justice, regardless of jurisdiction.