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13 July 2017
| Natalie Bannerman
In a bid to comply with tougher cyber-security laws, Apple has recently announced that it will be building a new data centre in the southern Guizhou province of China and run by a company owned by the Chinese government.
By teaming up with the data management
firm, Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data, Apple is able to abide by
the new Chinese law that requires data-storage providers to
keep the information of mainland China customers on computers
located within the country.
"The addition of this data centre will
allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our products
and services while also complying with newly passed
regulations. These regulations require cloud services be
operated by Chinese companies so we're partnering with GCBD to
offer iCloud, "Apple said in a statement to Reuters.
The development comes as an interesting
move on the part of Apple, given that preserving
customers’ privacy has become a cornerstone for
the company under its current CEO Tim Cook. But as with many of
its competitors like Amazon, Microsoft, and IBM similar deals
had been made in order to appease the country’s
rigid communist government.
The data centre will store photos, video,
documents and other personal information uploaded to iCloud
accounts by customers who live in mainland China, even when
they’re travelling outside the country. Backups
and other data stored in iCloud accounts by customers outside
China will continue to be stored in data centres in the U.S.
and eventually Denmark.
But the company has taken steps to
reassure its customers saying in the statement: "As our
customers know, Apple has strong data privacy and security
protections in place and no backdoors will be created into any
of our systems."
According to other reports Ajay Arora the
CEO of data security specialist Vera, says that Apple's
partnership with a company owned by the Chinese government
increases the chances of the government prying into
customer’s information. Arora said: "It's like
Apple is putting the fox in charge of the hen-house.