Apple apologises for sending data migration notice to USA users

Leslie Hanson
January 13, 2018

Business analysts said the move will help Apple comply with Chinese law concerning customer data and allay some customers' concerns about the security of their data, state-run Xinhua news agency.

In an FAQ posted January 10, 2018, Apple says GCBD will take over operation of iCloud under China-specific terms of service.

"As far as they [Apple] know I'm a USA resident with a US address, phone, email and payment details", one user in Beijing surnamed Liu, 26, told Reuters.

The specific phrasing of the email is important, as it notes that users who have their location not set to China in their iCloud account are not now subject to the data migration process that Apple has announced. He declined to share his full name in case his secondary account is identified and closed. Apple now says, however, that some customers received that message in error...

Opening foreign Apple ID accounts is one way that Chinese users are able to evade strict censorship controls by accessing overseas App Stores which host virtual private network (VPN) apps and other features. A subtle but important detail for users in China and elsewhere.


Apple said previous year that it has strong data privacy protections in place for its Chinese data operations, and that no backdoors will be created in any of its systems. "You don't need to take any further action and can keep using iCloud in China". TechCrunch later discovered a number of U.S. iCloud users received the email meant for Chinese customers.

The Cupertino-based Apple has now apologised. "A very small number of our customers whose Apple ID country is not China also received this email by mistake".

As we said at the time, we're committed to continuously improving the user experience, and our partnership with GCBD will allow us to improve the speed and reliability of our iCloud services products while also complying with newly passed regulations that cloud services be operated by Chinese companies.

Apple responded by pointing to their terms and conditions, which state: "The operation of iCloud services associated with Apple IDs that have China in their country or region setting will be subject to this transition".

Apple announced the constructing of the new data base in Guizhou last July, with an investment of $1 billion.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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