Apple’s iPhone is a ‘national security concern’ for China, as cybersecurity woes worsen

By Alexandra Burlacu | Jul 12, 2014 04:20 AM EDT

Share This Story

  • Print
  • Email


Chinese state broadcasters claim that Apple's iPhone is a "national security concern, as disputes between the U.S. and China concerns heat up over cybersecurity.

Relations between China and the U.S. have been rocky for quite some time over cybersecurity concerns, and things are apparently getting worse. A new broadcast in China has raised some red flags about Apple's iPhone, citing security woes.

Follow us

More specifically, the China Central Television (CCT) broadcast, which is sponsored by the state, has deemed the iPhone a "national security concern" on Friday, July 11, as part of its national noon broadcast, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported.

The CCT reportedly criticized the "frequent locations" feature found in Apple's iOS 7, with claims that research has indicated that data points recorded by the iPhone could pose serious concerns.

"In its national noon broadcast, state-run China Central Television criticized the 'frequent locations' function in Apple's iOS mobile operating system, which tracks and records the time and location of the owners movements," reveals the WSJ. "The report quoted researchers who said that those with access to those data points could gain knowledge of the broader situation in China or 'even state secrets.'"

This iOS 7 "frequent locations" function is found in the device's Settings and is an opt-in feature, allowing users to grant permission for their devices to record the places they often visit in order to provide relevant location-based information.

While China and the U.S. have never been quite on the same page in regards to cybersecurity, relations between the two countries significantly worsened after former U.S. NSA contractor Edward Snowden released confidential documents earlier this year.

One of those high-profile leaks revealed the widespread surveillance activities the NSA had engaged in, including the agency's secret tapping into Huawei's networks. Other leaks, meanwhile, indicated that the NSA had hacked major telecoms in China in an effort to mine text messages, and had also engaged in sustained attacks on Tsinghua University networks.

According to the WSJ, the broadcast not only mentioned the Snowden leaks, but also said the databases of tech firms in the U.S. are gold mines. Moreover, the CCT further cited Chinese officials who called on Apple to "take on any legal responsibility" if any data leaks stemming from its devices has negative consequences.

Back in May, the U.S. charged five Chinese military officers with spying, which caused Beijing to bolster its position. Also back in May, the Chinese government procurement center banned the purchase and use of Microsoft's Windows 8 operating system on government computers. At the time, this decision was explained as an effort to avoid the issues caused by Windows XP's demise.

For Apple, meanwhile, China is a huge market where its devices are widely popular. Its iPhone, for instance, is very popular among Chinese officials and executives, but this new broadcast may affect how the company is seen in the country.



Get the Most Popular Mobile&Apps Stories in a Weekly Newsletter

Apple, iPhone, Cyber Security, CCT, China Central Television

Join Our Conversation

The HTC logo is seen with different devices from the brand HTC M10 Perfume Launching A Month Later After MWC 2016
Lava Unleashes New P7 Device Into The Indian Market
New Disney Phone Coming To Japan
Xiaomi Locks Redmi Note 3, Mi 4c And Mi Note Pro; Others To Follow Suit?
Tablet / Laptop / PC
Dell Venue 7 and Venue 8 Dell unveils Venue 7 and Venue 8 Android 4.3 Jelly Bean tablets
Retina iPad Mini facing delays, may not launch until early next year
Refurbished 128GB iPad with Retina Display now available on the Apple Online Store
Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 – 2014 Edition: Pricing and availability now official
Amazon Logo Amazon reportedly to launch ‘Firetube’ set-top box before 2013 holidays
Samsung Galaxy Note 3 and Galaxy Gear India launch: Pricing and availability
Samsung Galaxy Gear Android smartwatch now up for pre-order in Canada
Samsung Galaxy Gear 2 reportedly in the works already, may debut at CES or MWC 2014
OS / Software
HTC Logo HTC reportedly considering Android/Windows Phone dual-booting smartphone as Microsoft pushes for deeper Windows mobile integration
iOS 7 Chrome Incognito mode leaks private searches due to bug
Sprint HTC One Android 4.3 Jelly Bean already rolling out, AT&T, T-Mobile & Verizon to follow
Microsoft Windows 8.1 now available for pre-order
Internet / Social Media
Google Downtime Google blacks out for two minutes, causes 40 percent drop in world’s Internet traffic
Xbox Music web player is live and ready for Xbox Music Pass subscribers
Facebook Android app collected phone numbers even if users never logged in
Firefox 22 brings support for web video calls, 3D gaming, and Unreal Engine 3
What's App
ZTE's new lease program ZTE’s new Lease-to-own Program for Mobile Devices
LG’s G Pay to Take on Google, Samsung and Apple
Facebook: Taxes in the UK and a new Shopping tab
Samsung’s VR Headset to be Released at $99, Hulu Jumps Onboard with Apps Ready

Most Popular

© 2016 IBT Media Inc. All Rights Reserved.mobilenapps