Apple shoots down Chinese accusation that ‘iPhone endangers national security,’ blasts Android

“Apple’s website in China has published a detailed response to accusations by the country’s state owned media, refuting claims that iOS tracks users’ locations in a firm but politely worded statement,” Daniel Eran Dilger reports for AppleInsider.

“A posting titled ‘Your Location Privacy,’ presented in both Chinese and English on Apple’s Chinese website, states ‘Apple is deeply committed to protecting the privacy of all our customers. Privacy is built into our products and services from the earliest stages of design. We work tirelessly to deliver the most secure hardware and software in the world,'” Dilger reports. “Alluding the advertising-supported nature of Google’s Android, Apple’s statement continued, ‘unlike many companies, our business does not depend on collecting large amounts of personal data about our customers.'”

Dilger writes, “Instead, Apple wrote, ‘we are strongly committed to giving our customers clear and transparent notice, choice and control over their information, and we believe our products do this in a simple and elegant way.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“The tracking function is used to speed up applications designed to show iPhone users their own location or assist in driving directions to avoid traffic,” Jeff Green reports for Bloomberg. “It can be turned off, Apple said in its statement. Personal location information is stored only on the phone, protected by a user password, and isn’t available to third parties, the company said. ‘We appreciate CCTV’s effort to help educate customers on a topic we think is very important,’ the company said in the statement, according to an English translation provided by Apple. ‘We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don’t do when it comes to privacy and your personal data.'”

“Apple, Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Facebook Inc. are among U.S. companies criticized by state-run media amid an escalating spat over cyberspying and hacking allegations. The tensions follow indictments by U.S. prosecutors of five Chinese military officers for allegedly hacking into the computers of American companies and last year’s revelations by former security contractor Edward Snowden of a National Security Agency spying program,” Green reports. “Last month, a commentary on the microblog of the People’s Daily newspaper said Apple, Microsoft, Google and Facebook cooperated in a secret U.S. program to monitor China.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related article:
Chinese state-run media: Apple iPhone a danger to China national security – July 11, 2014
Why Apple really values your privacy – unlike Google, Facebook, or Amazon – June 25, 2014

38 Comments

  1. spying with iPhones, ridiculous. For several years, the solomé foundation has been spying on Chinese officials with synthetic mayflies. We do wish they’d wash their hands more often, but what we’ve found is they’re no more corrupt than the current executive branch.

    Our systems are really quite porous. A great deal of the China budget is devoted to digesting the corporate and government data that’s already been stolen but the surprise to the American people will come just before the 2016 election when they dump the dollar. The Dagong credit rating agency’s already downgraded our rating and continues to pave the way for the dump with it’s very public negative outlook on our solvency.

    The local and state governments can afford to get fat and overspent but whereas the federal levels should always be lean and muscular and ready to anticipate and act, the opposite has happened. Economically, the country will be brought to it’s knees. The solomé foundation has learned that the Chinese have already prepared for this eventuality. They won’t let us fall, though because it isn’t in their economic interest. It would be devastating. They’ll prop us up in exchange for concessions that will further weaken us as a nation. Years from now, after the people’s revolt of 2167, the government will return to the people and the trans-Pacific nation of iChinAmerica will experience 1000 yrs of peace where the most concerning issues will be the proliferation of synthetic mayflies 🙂

  2. Actually as disingenuous as the data stealing hypocritical Chinese government are this has been a great opportunity for Apple to underline the differences between them and the blatant mission critical data stealing Google Android devices to the Chinese public. IPhone doesn’t steal your data but Android does. And it can be turned off in any case on the iPhone. Hopefully this will prove to be a sales boon.

    1. Amurderca: Criminal wannabe terrorist nation. You hear “Endangers National Security” from a country that definitely endangers global security.

      Both of them are kind of laughable when you think about.

      1. Oh, too true! It’s kind of sick that I am speaking from a country that China, and Germany, And Argentina, And Venezuela, and the entire Middle East… rightfully calls a global threat to security. #MyStupidGovernment embarrasses and infuriates me every single day. Isn’t that special? (O_o)

        1. I certainly empathize with you there Derek. I don’t have much admiration for the Chinese communist system, and the Amurdercan Demoncracy certainly does not impress either of us.

          Keep posting about it, perhaps some people will wake up some day.

          1. My point of view is that at least the words are being said by however few of us there are. Maybe they’ll help someone out. Maybe the diversity of minds and humanity will become clearer to someone. Maybe someone will gather some heart and strength knowing that there are some people out there who don’t play sheeple to the big bad wolves. Instead, we hunt the wolves and hope for more enlightened lives for the sheep.

            Wait. Am I channeling Prokofiev? 😉

  3. OK, I’ll bite.

    Excuse me, you are NOT thinking.

    The U.S. has no plans to become a terrorist nation. Quite the contrary, they LIBERATE countries from oppressive regimes from World War II Europe to present day Afghanistan.
    .
    Have another pint, mate. Hopefully, it will come to you sooner rather than later …

    1. I’ll take it that your reply was to me.

      You mention the second World War so let’s start with that:

      – IBM and the Holocaust is a book that investigates how IBM’s technology helped facilitate Nazi genocide through generation and tabulation of punch cards based upon national census data.

      – The first 9-11, September 1973 the U.S. backed a coup d’état in Chile and removed a democratically elected government to put in a dictator called Pinochet who proceeded to shut down parliament, suffocated political life, banned trade unions, and made Chile his sultanate. His government disappeared 3,000 opponents, arrested 30,000 (torturing thousands of them).

      – The Vietnam conflict was not sanctioned by the UN, an illegal war.

      – The second Iraqi conflict, another illegal war. By the way how did that go? Any weapons of mass destruction found? Hans Blix sure was chastised over than and pushed aside, along with a democratic vote at the UN by the United Hates to pursued and assassinate, (i.e. murder) Saddam Hussein who had nothing to do with the second 9-11. How is the country (Iraq) doing now? Nice and peaceful? I see modern day Iraq the footprint of a wannabe terrorist nation, that is the United Hates.

      The Guantanamo Bay detention camp where people are tortured. Hey do terrorists nations torture people. They sure do! Are the lights coming on yet or will I have to go into the NSA violations, shooting of civilians by drones.

      I mean really GoeB you want to convince me that a country that tortures people in this day is not a wannabe terrorist nation? Sorry it don’t wash, better have a few more pints, cause I ain’t your mate.

      Oh and last I looked Afghanistan was organized under the umbrella of NATO, not the United States. I think it was the same for World War II, the U.S. was part of a group called the Allies.

      Actually you don’t have to go that far, just look at the original story headline. The commentary from one of the posters there (pooch) says it all:

      “take that china … you just got shot down!

      jhc, dilger, what are you, seven years old?”

      Better have another pints of whatever you are drinking sir or madam, dull your senses even more to the wannabe terrorist nation that ha ha ha liberates countries. Gosh I’d have to drink a lot of pints to get that delusional.

      1. Road Warrior:

        My grandmother wasn’t a terrorist and my next-door neighbor didn’t help the Nazis with their abomination called the Holocaust. And I’m pretty sure the thousands of American soldiers, marines and sailors who fought and died in World War II to liberate Europe and Asia from the scourge of totalitarianism were not terrorists or Nazi sympathizers.

        My point: you should make a greater effort to distinguish between the people of a nation and that nation’s leadership. I am a loyal American and I love my country. As an attorney, I have been called on several times to swear an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution, which I done without hesitation. But I certainly don’t always agree with my country’s leadership or actions it has taken in the name of the country. I fight back through the political process, by voting and supporting candidates for office who can make a change.

        And Derek, try to be mindful of the fact that this site is visited by persons from many nations besides the U.S. Road Warrior can spout off about the U.S. If he wants because he’s an Aussie. But you should be a little more circumspect bad-mouthing your country to a foreign audience.

        1. Thanks for your post. Your point about distinguishing the people and the nation is well taken and at many times I have noted that this has nothing to do with the people of a nation and the nation’s leadership. I did not make that distinction in my post as I was not talking about the individuals, rather the United Hates as a wannabe terrorist nation. There is a big difference in my books but the two are closely related. I have absolutely no qualms about the people I meet from your country but indeed your nation’s leadership and the way people follow it blindly, well it’s part of the situation that we have on the planet today.

          Oh, and I’m not an Aussie but I do know how much Amurderca loves the “aim for Bin Laden hit Saddam Hussein” missile system.

          Another consideration is your handle. You seem to be in the know, what doesn’t God Bless? She sure blesses hurricanes, so stay tuned for a good blessing coming to your country soon, cause God’s geography and guidance system is a heck lot better than yours and believe me, she’s no longer on your side. Your nation lost the moral high ground a while ago, and you know.

          Derek in my opinion voices his distaste for the Amurdercan government as a global citizen, as do I, and I don’t plan to go to Mars to protest what I see is a global bully and a wannabe terrorist nation.

          God Bless You, cause you certainly need it.

          Conversely, you may wish to dis

          you should make a greater effort to distinguish between the people of a nation and that nation’s leadership.

            1. You have any oomph behind that command/request? Otherwise post whatever opinion you want, but you won’t deny my free speech. Thanks for attacking the messenger and not addressing any issue brought up what so ever.

              It’s typical of those bereft of communication skills.

            2. This is MDN. We talk Apple here.

              You obviously got up on the wrong side of the bed and are looking for a fight and, you’ve apparently felt the need to hijack this forum to spit in people’s faces. I think that says more about the kind of person you are than anything you have to say about anyone else.

              I have no interest in debating anything you have to say because it is completely off-topic and, frankly, nasty and repugnant. You are the worst kind of troll.

            3. Oh goodness jwsc01, you pick on me because you think I hijacked a thread? Goodness gracious I feel so honored that you would pick me instead of someone from the hordes, someone like “First some year then some other year” who constantly goes on about the increase in espionage by the current Amurdercan government.

              My original post on this thread was on topic, to Derek, whom I get along with fine. Then GeoB made a post trying to portray the fairy tale the United Hates is not a wannabe terrorist nation. Heck got to reply to that and set the record straight. I mean come on don’t want no Amurdercan getting up on the wrong side of the bed spitting in your face with that kind of foolishness unless you are an Amurdercan, and boy do they make the worse kind of trolls look good these days. You see trolls don’t invade countries on fictional whims or torture people, whereas Amurdercans, well they do.

              If you have no interest in debating anything I have to say then perhaps you might want to consider shutting your loud mouth bloody yank mouth shut. Insofar as preventing me from my posts, well assemble your army and come on and invade. It’s your style.

            4. Jw…. This “Road Warrior” nsa watch-list, eric snowmen terrorist wannabe is just another third country national, clueless animal spewing derogatory comments at will. Not really worth wasting time on…

      2. -Painting US involvement in Europe during WW2 as a device to assist IBM in global tech sales is so ridiculous that you essentially identify yourself as a “Guardianista”. Such a Worldview seeks to paint virtually all actions by the United Stats government as nefarious. Given this logical starting point, you invaldate your fact set and attendant conclusions. However, the nonsense you have left here calls for some response given the number of positive votes you received.
        -Allende’s overthrow is often painted exclusively as the CIA’s doing. As stupid and misguided as the US involvement was there, the fact that Allende, who enjoyed only 34% of the popular vote, counted on legislative support of Christian Democrats and then set upon a course they not only did not support but disavowed, provided a fertile ground for revolt whether we were involved or not. Our involvement was a huge error but it is in no way clear that Allende’s overthrow would not have been the result of his policies in any case. Central and South America have a notable history of coup d’etats. Of course, you might argue we were involved in all of them.
        – If you think the fact that the UN does not sanction military action makes such action illegal, you are talking through your hat. Not sure where you live but the NATO Charter’s Article 5 does not require and kind of UN approval when Article 5 is invoked. And while we are on NATO, if you think that Western Europe remained pacified after WW2 because the Soviets were “good guys”, I give you a second talking through hat award. As distasteful as it might be to you, if the US did not have a presence in Western Europe today, Russia would be absolutely more willing to take chances and intrude. Ask Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania how they feel about this. Better yet, the Georgians who have the Russians breathing down their necks. And, of course, the Ukrainians. Wait, let me guess, the US changed the government in Ukraine and it is now governed by neo-Nazi’s. Sure. Western Europe seems to like to invent a story of total self reliance as the decades have muted the reality of Soviet hegemony in Eastern Europe – the stories told in 1917 and 1941 say something different. Oh, yes, sorry, 1941 came about because IBM wanted to sell the Nazi’s punch cards.
        -Could not agree more about the mess in Iraq – of course, you would paint the US black in any situation as a “Guardianista”. We should absolutely have left the Kurds, Shiites and Sunnis to continue to go at each other. The border confections would certainly have disappeared sooner or later – an abiding gift handed out after WW1 by France and Britain.
        -Regarding Afghanistan, I am pleased that NATO did get involved but we should have been in and out and been ready to go in again. I have no interest in incubating a democracy there. They should have just known we were ready to reenter and pound the crap out them again. Does that sound mean? Perhaps you don’t know people who had bought their breakfast and were waiting at the Skylobby on the 44th floor of the Trade Center when the airplane struck.
        -I agree that torture should be out of bounds but I don’t feel particularly bad about the Neanderthal thugs still in Guantanamo. Perhaps we should let them all out so the can put a bomb under my family’s or your family’s airplane seat?

  4. Interesting:

    A popular Chinese television news presenter has disappeared from his nightly show, just weeks after his boss was detained on suspicion of taking bribes. Rui Chenggang, a business journalist who works for the state-run broadcaster CCTV, was taken from his workplace by prosecutors, according to financial news magazine Caixin.

  5. Apple’s should not have responded. Self-serving and self righteous responses like this one dilutes the credibility of the response and more importantly they need to speak for themselves and avoid dragging in other companies.

    The US is clearly spying on everyone regardless if what device they use. Apple Inc. Need to tone down the pious rhetoric!

  6. Apple PR is getting better.

    I have lambasted Apple PR in the past like letting NYT, Mike Daisey, Doug Kass etc get out of control with nonsense with no reaction.

    Here Apple made a statement within a day or so of the China CCTV report. It was clear thorough and politically polite (“we appreciate CCTV’s effort… ” ). It’s a good attempt to nip it in the bud.

    I’ve been flamed before for suggesting that Apple should react to major accusations, people have said Apple should stick it’s nose in the air and ignore them but we’ve seen how these things can haemorrhage out of control . Companies should CONTROL their image as best they can. In the past Apple didn’t even write a letter to the editor to correct obvious errors when the NYT went on pulitzer prize winning crusade against Apple, that together with others was a disaster to Apple’s image (“no innovation, surpassed by Samsung, Tax Cheat, losing market share, child labour abuser.. etc) and stock.

    Apple’s new fight back could also be seen by Cook’s quick reaction to the Haunted Empire book (” It’s nonsense” ) It was successful and stopped the book in it’s tracks . Perhaps all this is also related to the long time Apple’s PR chief’s ouster recently.

    whether Apple succeeds in controlling this in China remains to be seen but at least it’s trying and the real FACTS are out there. Good show.

  7. It’s a Chinese misdirection shakedown, and it only reinforces the point that Apple has to diversify the geographic locations of it’s manufacturing to other parts of the globe.

  8. But.. But… Even with the device locked, I can ask Siri to, without using Touch ID, respond to the question “who am I?” And Siri will gladly present my contact information with my home and office address as well as the names of my wife and child.

    Way to go Apple security!!

    1. Giving me one or two stars will not make this go away and doesn’t invalidate my statement.

      Give me zero stars. I don’t give a rat’s arse. The problem DOES exist. I am not lying.

      Pick up your friends phone. Anyone. Stop them on the middle sidewalk. Say… Hey, can I use your phone? Then before they even unlock it for you, as Siri, “who am I?” Siri will gladly give you this stranger’s home address and phone number.

      Try it before you give one star. Don’t ignore t. Don’t be a dumb arse.

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