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Apple will store some iCloud encryption keys in China

CHINA AND APPLE are getting cosier as Cupertino will store some of its iCloud encryption keys in the nation, despite security concerns.

What might seem like an odd move for Apple given its previous relationship with China was prompted by the need to comply with new Chinese data laws.

Reuters reports that Apple will now hold the encryption keys of its Chinese iCloud users in China-based data centres run by a state-owned firm called Cloud Big Data Industrial Development Co.

Given the Chinese government has a fairly draconian approach to state censorship and monitoring, there are plenty of concerns that iCloud data stored within a Chinese company could be open up to state snooping.

Yet Apple has said it alone will have access to the iCloud encryption keys and that Chinese authorities will have no backdoor into its data troves.

Nevertheless, this is still a big change as iCloud encryption keys used to be stored in Apple data centres in the US, where data laws are quite a bit different.

In theory, Chinese authorities will be able to use their own legal system to demand access to iCloud data stored within the nation rather than needing to go through US courts.

The situation could get a bit sticky as unlike the US, there’s no independent review of warrants made for data access against tech companies.

Apple has been against subjecting iCloud to Chinese laws, but eventually decided it would be better to do so or risk providing its Chinese customers with a lesser experience than that offered in other nations.

Cupertino won’t change its views on how it handles user data, privacy and iCloud security, but the whole situation could get a little murky if China does indeed try and exert its authority over Apple.

We suspect if that was to be the case, Apple might stand its ground and pull out of China in protest, as similar situations have happened with Google. µ

Source : Inquirer

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of 'Professional Hackers India'. Technology Evangelist, Security Analyst, Cyber Security Expert, PHP Developer and Part time hacker.

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