Online Sense is ICDL Arabia's philanthropic arm aimed at raising public awareness on Cyber Safety.

Recently, Apple decided to move a portion of its iCloud storage servers to China, a country in which the government is said to have unhindered access to user data owned by companies.

This means Apple will now start storing text messages, emails, pictures and contacts of a large number of iCloud users in servers located in China.

So, should you be concerned about the Chinese government accessing all your private stuff on iCloud storage? Let’s explain this a bit here.

Apart from moving a portion of iCloud storage servers to China, Apple has also made changes in the way it handles users’ information that’s encrypted (turned into a sort of code that only the sender and receiver of information can break. Even Apple cannot understand the information).

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All the files saved in your iCloud account are encrypted (Turned into coded information). Apple has a key (Like a password) that it can be used only by investigating authorities to open your account, with approval from the US legal system.

Apple stores these keys in servers in the US. Now, it’s going to store a large number of these keys in its Chinese servers. This means, Chinese authorities will no longer need approval from US courts to access users’ data.

Why is this concerning news for iCloud storage users? Well, here’s the story behind it:

Legal experts and Human Rights activists are concerned about Chinese authorities having access to iCloud storage user data because Chinese authorities have in the past accessed user data to arrest people who weren’t essentially criminals.

One such incident occurred after Yahoo handed over user data to the government, leading to the arrest of two advocates of democracy in that country.

Coming to the big question – is the privacy of stuff you store in your iCloud storage account under threat due to Apple’s move? You need not fear if you are not a Chinese citizen because Apple will store only the data of its Chinese users in China-based servers.

Whether Chinese users’ data is safe or not will be proven in time.