January 11, 2018

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced a date for iCloud data services

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has announced a date for iCloud data services, when it will hand over operations, for residents of mainland China to GCBD.

Last year, this change was announced, so that Apple can comply with local laws. In China, GCBD will manage a new Apple data center that will eventually store all “iCloud data” for Chinese customers.

According to some critics, it will make it easier for the Chinese government to spy on Apple users, that moving operations locally. Under the new terms and conditions indicates that data will be shared with both Apple Inc. (AAPL) and GCBD.

Affected customers are now being notified about the transition which will start on February 28. Apple Inc. (AAPL) reassured users that the data will be protected by the same encryption standards, as its current US policies, and that no special backdoors will be created.

“Last year, we announced that Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD) would become the operator of iCloud in China. As we said at the time, we’re committed to continuously improving the user experience, and our partnership with GCBD will allow us improve the speed and reliability of our iCloud services products while also complying with newly passed regulations that cloud services be operated by Chinese companies. Because of our commitment to transparency, there will be a series of customer communications over the course of the next seven weeks to make sure customers are well informed of the coming changes. Apple has strong data privacy and security protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any of our systems.”

The Chinese cyber security rules, having ‘Strong data privacy’ introduced in July last year, include a requirement for companies to store all data within China. Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), is owned by the Guizhou provincial government in southern China.

iCloud data will be transferred from 28 February, Apple said. Customers living in mainland China who did not want to use iCloud operated by GCBD were given the option to terminate their account. Guizhou is where Apple opened a $1bn (£738m) data centre last year to meet the regulations.

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