While the up and coming Apple iPhone 6 is making its release in September this year, it may not be released in one of the biggest smartphones markets in Asia – China.
Ma Ding, the director for Institute for Security of the Internet at People’s Public Security University, claims in an interview with CCTV that the world’s most popular phone is considered a national security threat due to its ability on keeping track of the users location in respect with time in iOS7. The “frequent locations” function gathers information on the areas that are visited often by the user, which is used to improve on travel advice.
Citing the example with the use of a journalist, Ma claimed that they are able to track the interviews that were done in the locations and they are able to identify if that was on a political cause or the economic cause. This can in turn allow Apple to secure information which may be able to track political activities.
Consumers were surprised about CCTV’s accusations as the geotracking function is not something new in smartphones, which can be disabled.
Apple has always been in the fire for controversy in China, where their market share in the smartphone market is gaining pace although it is still currently being dominated by Android phones. Just this week, they have lost a patent lawsuit over their voice recognition software, Siri. Not to mention, they had to paid $60 million in a dispute with another Chinese firm on the iPad trademark.
This may be part of the backlash from the allegations of Edward Snowden who had been snooping in China on the behalf of US government. Microsoft came into the same issue with the government as the introduction of Windows 8 led to security concerns which resulted in an embargo with the new operating system.
Apple has denied all assertions that iPhone pose a threat in China.