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Apple's China iCloud Data Migration Sweeps Up International User Accounts (techcrunch.com) 45

Yesterday, it was reported that Apple's iCloud services in mainland China will be operated by a Chinese company from next month. What wasn't reported was the fact that Apple has included iCloud accounts that were opened in the U.S., are paid for using U.S. dollars and/or are connected to U.S.-based App Store accounts in the data that will be handled by local partner Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD) from February 28. TechCrunch reports: Apple has given China-based users the option to delete their data, but there is no opt out that allows them to have it stored elsewhere. That has concerned some users who are uneasy that the data migration is a sign of closer ties with the Chinese government, particularly since GCBD is owned by the Guizhou provincial government. When asked for comment, Apple pointed TechCrunch to its terms and conditions site which explains that it is migrating iCloud accounts based on their location: "The operation of iCloud services associated with Apple IDs that have China in their country or region setting will be subject to this transition. You will be notified of this transition via email and notifications on your devices. You don't need to take any further action and can keep using iCloud in China. After February 28, 2018, you will need to agree to the terms and conditions of iCloud operated by GCBD to keep using iCloud in China."

However, TechCrunch found instances of iCloud accounts registered overseas that were part of the migration. One user did find an apparent opt-out. That requires the user switching their iCloud account back to China, then signing out of all devices. They then switch their phone and iCloud settings to the U.S. and then, upon signing back into iCloud, their account will (seemingly) not be part of the migration. Opting out might be a wise-move, as onlookers voice concern that a government-owned company is directly involved in storing user data.

Apple's China iCloud Data Migration Sweeps Up International User Accounts

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  • From PRISM https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... [wikipedia.org] to China?
    How about data staying in the USA and providing freedom of speech and freedom after speech for users around the world?
    Let users globally enjoy US freedoms rather than what is allowed under a Communist party legal system.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      US freedom. LOL. The NSA is balls deep in American datastores. And thanks to national security letters, you'll never hear a peep about it. Freedom alright.

      • America : you're free to speak. And the NSA is free to listen.

        China : you're not free to speak and the Ministry of State Security is even freer than the NSA to listen to make sure you don't.

  • Seriously? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Mike Van Pelt ( 32582 ) on Friday January 12, 2018 @06:05PM (#55918439)

    "We won't let the FBI see the iPhones of people who commit mass murder in the US, but the Secret Police of Communist China gets whatever they want."

    I'm sure glad I don't use Apple, for multiple other reasons.

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 ) <slashdot@worfCOLA.net minus caffeine> on Friday January 12, 2018 @06:30PM (#55918605)

      "We won't let the FBI see the iPhones of people who commit mass murder in the US, but the Secret Police of Communist China gets whatever they want."

      I'm sure glad I don't use Apple, for multiple other reasons.

      Nope. This only affects iCloud. And you can opt out of using iCloud too.

      The FBI has full access to iCloud data, just like China will too (for Chinese accounts). This is due to Chinese law saying Chinese users of cloud services must have the data stored within China.

      Chinese government only has access to those servers now, and you can opt-out like you always could of iCloud services - the iPhone is not tied to it in any way other than user convenience.

      Data stored on phones only (and there's a lot that Apple isn't storing to the cloud, including passwords) remain stored on phones and the Chinese government will have to crack them same way the FBI does.

      • by c ( 8461 )

        the Chinese government will have to crack them same way the FBI does.

        I wasn't aware that the FBI was allowed to torture the keys out of suspects? Yet.

      • by Kjella ( 173770 )

        Chinese government only has access to those servers now, and you can opt-out like you always could of iCloud services - the iPhone is not tied to it in any way other than user convenience.

        For now..... until the Chinese government starts looking into the people who have an iPhone and don't use iCloud and tie that or active use into the loyalty score somehow. As far as I know you can only turn it off, you can't fake using it. That's really the end game here, make most people give up their privacy without anything seemingly bad happening so the remainder stand out in a crowd. I mean 99% of what goes on at Facebook is meaningless drivel, the question is who's not on Facebook and what's not being

    • by phayes ( 202222 )

      I'm sure glad you're not making any decisions for me because you're conflating two different things:
      - Access to iCloud Data (the subject of TFA).
      Apple has always divulged this data when presented with a warrant, whether in the U.S. or anywhere else that they operate:
      https://www.apple.com/lae/priv... [apple.com]
      - Access to information on devices:
      Again, Apple co-operates with authorities when they can but cannot do so once a window of opportunity closes and the device is locke

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