Apple Refutes China's Security Claims, Says It Does Not Track Users

Customers look at iPads near an advertisement for the iPhone 5C at Apple's retail outlet in Beijing Monday, Dec. 23, 2013.

No, Apple isn't using your iPhone to track your location in China.
That's Apple's response to a recent report from China's state-run television station alleging the iPhone could potentially threaten the country's national security.

Apple published the lengthy statement on its China website Saturday, one day after Chinese state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported the iPhone posed a threat to the country's national security.
Specifically, the report called into question Apple's "frequent locations" feature. The feature, which is built in to iOS 7, keeps tabs on places iPhone owners visit as well as how often they go there "in order to learn places that are significant to you."
The report quoted researchers who claimed "those with access to that data could gain knowledge of China's economic situation or 'even state secrets,' " according to a Wall Street Journal report.
In a statement, the Cupertino-based company refuted this idea and explained that Frequent Locations is used solely to provide information relevant to individual users, such as traffic conditions for their daily commute, and is not shared with Apple or other third parties.
Frequent Locations are only stored on a customer’s iOS device, they are not backed up on iTunes or iCloud, and are encrypted. Apple does not obtain or know a user’s Frequent Locations and this feature can always be turned “Off" via our privacy settings.
Apple does not have access to Frequent Locations or the location cache on any user’s iPhone at any time. We encrypt the cache by the user’s passcode and it is protected from access by any app.
Apple went on to emphasize that it feels "strongly" about protecting its customers privacy and would never allow a government organization or agency to access user data.
Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will. It’s something we feel very strongly about.

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