Chinese media slams iPhone for ‘user tracking’
Frequent Locations function could expose state secrets, says broadcaster
A Chinese state broadcaster has labelled the iPhone a national security threat because of its geo-location tools, Reuters reported.
Media outlet CCTV on Friday expressed concern over the Frequent Locations function, which tracks and timestamps user locations.
"This is extremely sensitive data," said a researcher interviewed by CCTV, adding that the tracking information could reveal national economic status and "even state secrets".
"We appreciate CCTV's effort to help educate customers on a topic we think is very important," Apple, pledging commitment to user privacy and claiming that neither user nor device information was transmitted when using Frequent Locations.
"We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don't do when it comes to privacy and your personal data," the Cupertino, California-based company said. "Apple does not track users' locations - Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so."
Apple and other US tech firms have frequently been accused by Chinese state media of passing user data to US intelligence agencies. Apple insists it has "never worked with any government agency from any country" to deliver backdoor access to its products or services. "We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will," it stressed.