Apple Bows To China – Latest Privacy Feature Not Available In Communist Country

Looks like Apple’s big privacy push won’t be happening in Communist China, contradicting Apple’s own declaration of upholding “human rights.”

According to Reuters, “Apple Inc on Monday said a new ‘private relay’ feature designed to obscure a user’s web browsing behavior from internet service providers and advertisers will not be available in China for regulatory reasons. The feature was one of a number of privacy protections Apple announced at its annual software developer conference on Monday, the latest in a years-long effort by the company to cut down on the tracking of its users by advertisers and other third parties.”

Even though Apple’s “Our Commitment to Human Rights” document has a grand proclamation of promoting free speech and respecting individual human rights, “even where we may disagree with a country’s laws,” it appears Apple won’t respect the human rights of Chinese citizens.

It has been reported that Apple is planning to store user activity in data centers located in Guiyang, China. There, Apple will give control of the data center to the Chinese government. From there, the Chinese Communist government will be able to have unencrypted access to user data, possessing “digital keys that unlock information on those [devices].”

Here’s an excerpt from Apple’s “Our Commitment to Human Rights” document.

The Technology We Make
As a global technology company, we feel a deep sense of responsibility to make technology
for people that respects their human rights, empowers them with useful tools and
information, and enhances their overall quality of life.

We do that with our uncompromising commitment to security and user privacy—setting
the industry standard for minimizing personal data collection. We build privacy protections
into everything we make—from products like iPhone, to services like Apple Pay, to our
comprehensive review process for every app on the App Store.

Hand in hand with the privacy of our users is our commitment to freedom of information
and expression. Our products help our customers communicate, learn, express their
creativity, and exercise their ingenuity. We believe in the critical importance of an open
society in which information flows freely, and we’re convinced the best way we can
continue to promote openness is to remain engaged, even where we may disagree with a
country’s laws.