China Thinks iPhones Are a National Security Risk

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The Chinese state media has put out a warning to it citizens: Your iPhone is very, very dangerous. Not only is it dangerous, iPhones are actually a threat to national security, because of the iPhone's ability to record a user's location. (They did not comment on various other smartphones, which have very similar location capabilities.)

The government-run CCTV claimed iPhone's "Frequent Locations" function, which automatically pulls your locations, and saves them in "Settings," could be used to offer the enemy information on a person's whereabouts. CCTV said this is "extremely sensitive data" that could reveal "state secrets".

Here's how Apple defines Frequent Locations:

Frequent Locations: Your iPhone will keep track of places you have recently been, as well as how often and when you visited them, in order to learn places that are significant to you. This data is kept solely on your device and won't be sent to Apple without your consent. It will be used to provide you with personalized services, such as predictive traffic routing.

Frequent Locations can also be turned off with great ease. It is a very quick five step process: Settings > Privacy > Location Services > System Services > Frequent Locations Swipe to "Off." With a few taps and swipes, a Chinese citizen is no longer posing a national security "risk."

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While the Chinese government media certainly has it out for Apple, Apple has a very lucrative and mutually beneficial relationship with several Chinese companies. Two manufacturing giants, Pegatron and Foxconn, both with large factories within the Chinese republic, will be adding 100,000 new employees to help build the parts for the highly anticipated iPhone 6. They just have to make sure their employees turn off Frequent Locations first. 

The Chinese people also are major Apple fans. In 2011, shoppers went crazy for not just fake Apple merchandise, but entire fake Apple stores. The stores were so perfectly replicated, even employees did not realize they weren't working for the original Apple.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.