With Apple moving its Chinese iCloud data to a company partially owned by the Chinese government, it’s natural to wonder what this means for the privacy of Chinese Apple users.
If Apple is storing user data on Chinese services, we have to at least accept the possibility that the Chinese government might wish to access it – and possibly without Apple’s permission. Is Apple saying that this is technically impossible?
This is a question, as you may have guessed, that boils down to encryption.
This article is from the middle of January of this year, but I missed it back then – it’s a great insight into what all of this means, presented in an easy-to-grasp manner. Definitely recommended reading.
Yep, PR is often vague and imprecise. While this can be annoying to a tech person, I don’t necessarily hold it against them. However I do hold it against them when they lie or deceive, as apple did when it claimed that imessage and facetime couldn’t be wiretapped, all the while, the protocol enabled wiretaping by letting apple set their own encryption keys.
Even when they’re not intentionally misleading, the truth is PR teams and even CEOs don’t always comprehend the technical nuances of what they’re talking about. The author understands this, but many people taking things at face value can be mislead.
I don’t think the average China citizen cares about privacy provided that it provides them significant utility. Think about WeChat and all the personal data that passes through it including your chat logs, purchases and location data and yet everyone is using it to replace physical cash.
And plus China is slowing evolving from a tightly controlled state to a looser one, so in their situation, they are already experiencing increasing privacy rights compared with decades ago.