China state media brands iPhone “threat to national security”

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Photo by Patrick Kovaric/AFP

Chinese state broadcaster CCTV called Apple’s iPhone a “threat to national security” because of the device’s ability to track and time-stamp a user’s location. The “frequent locations” function, which can be switched on or off by users, could be used to gather “extremely sensitive data,” and even state secrets, said Ma Ding of the People’s Public Security University in Beijing. The tool gathers information about the areas a user visits most often, partly to improve travel advice. The dispute is not the first time Apple has been embroiled in controversy in China. Just this week, the US tech giant lost a lawsuit against a Chinese state regulator over patent rights to voice recognition software. The privacy scare also reflects mutual distrust between the US and China after a series of allegations from both sides on the extent of cyber-espionage.

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