Last week the Russian Parliament passed a bill which theoretically forbids companies from storing Russian citizens’ digital data on servers outside Russian territory from 2016. Even if the demand is highly unfeasible and overall backwards, it touches a sensitive topic. The vast majority of online data is stored on servers based in U.S. territory and comply American regulation. We continue to argue that a global coalition to establish a framework fostering digital privacy is highly necessary. A neutral body such as a UN institution might help clarify better how data should be handled in a way that produces a fairer international balance of digital power.
China Accuses Apple of potentially having access to state secrets
China’s public TV, CCTV, openly accused Apple on Friday of storing Chinese users’ sensitive data. This week, according to Financial Times, the U.S. and China ended with insignificant progress talks on high-tech trade. The $2 trillion annual trade relies on an 18 years old agreement which needs to be updated. As we previously reported, iPhone dominates the high-end Chinese smartphone market. China provides 20 percent of Apple’s total smartphone revenues, meaning that CCTV’s accusations will be important on the long term for the producer.
China accuses Apple through CCTV of storing ‘extremely sensitive data’ which can uncover the entire country’s economic situation, along with state secrets. More precisely, the ‘frequent location’ option is pointed at. The allegation is that even if it is turned off, the iOS 7 service still records data. Apple states on the website that “”This data is kept solely on your device and won’t be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalised services, such as predictive traffic routing,”. It is not enough for the Chinese Government, who is worried about potential cyberspying because many American companies have Chinese clients.
Apple is not the only American producer hit by China. Google was not able to provide services to Chinese users for a whole month. The Government even decided to stop using Microsoft Windows on the new governmental computers. Other U.S. companies like Cisco and IBM suffered similar actions, Reuters reports. The importance of online privacy became even greater after Edward Snowden leaked the NSA information last year. Last week it appears that Germany found a CIA spy right in its public institutions, thus concerns regarding the U.S. digital interferences grow larger. China accuses Apple in the midst of a rising wave of discontent regarding American digital politics.