Apple is one of the companies that is known to take their security very seriously. The company has installed many protocols on its devices to make sure the device will not work unless if stolen or lost. They make sure that your data is encrypted and that gaining access is practically impossible for someone other than you.
iOS data is saved in two places, your physical device, and the cloud. Up until now, the iCloud data was stored in America for Chinese users. If the government of China wanted to access a person’s iCloud data, they would have to go through the American legal system. However, due to new laws in China, Apple has to move its iCloud Keys to be stationed in China. This means that it is now easier and more convenient for the Chinese Government to intervene and gain access to iCloud data, which includes photos, messages, and more. Though it will still be impossible to get inside a person’s phone without them, that will not be the same case with that person’s iCloud account.
Apple has decided to comply with the law and make the following change to continue with their business overseas in China, as China is a big market for Apple and its products. Apple has established connections with local companies in China. However, the data will still be overlooked and operated under Apple itself.
This policy does not affect anyone outside of China. However, it does have some people, the human rights activists, more worried.
They believe that now the Government does not have to rely on the US, and can use their legal system to gain access to anyone’s smartphone with reasonable suspicion. Activists believe that power can be used to track down any person that is a threat to country’s government or maybe speaking out against the government.
Apple said that they did try to resist the law change; however, they realized that this could create a bad user experience for people in China. Instead, it decided to alert all of its users by letting them know of the change, and gave them an option not to use the service and instead have their data stored locally on their devices.