Apple under fire for sending Safari browser data to Chinese firm

Mail Online | 10/14/2019 | Stacy Liberatore For
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Apple has come under fire for sending IP addresses of China-based users to Tencent.

The Cupertino company uses the Chinese internet giant as a Safe Browsing provider, which is also known to have close ties to the Chinese Communist Party.

Tencent - Cooperation - Government - Concerns - Data

Tencent's cooperation with the Chinese government raises concerns that the data being collected could be used as a means of surveillance.

The feature, called 'Fraudulent Website Warning' claims to enhance online security by cross-referencing URLs against a list of blacklisted websites.

Safari - Website - Warning - Users - Threats

Safari's fraudulent website warning was developed to protect users from online threats by checking every website the smartphone owner visits against a regularly updated list of malicious websites.

Apple first relied on a massive database of websites deemed 'blacklisted' by Google's Safe Browsing service, but by its iOS 12.2, the firm had adopted Tencent as its watchdog.

Google - China - Apple - Tencent - Users

However, Google is banned from China, which is why some believe Apple is using Tencent to protect its Chinese users, according to ReclaimtheNet, which discovered the data sharing.

Matthew Green, cryptography professor at Johns Hopkins explained that 'Tencent isn't Google.

Kind - Change - Choices

'While they may be just as trustworthy, we deserve to be informed about this kind of change and to make choices about it.'

'At very least, users should learn about these changes before Apple pushes the feature into production, and thus asks millions of their customers to trust them.'

Users - Process - Apple - 'About - Safari

Although many iOS users may not be aware of this process, Apple notes that it can be found in the 'About Safari & Privacy' screen, which is linked via small text under the Privacy & Security section in Settings -> Safari.

And the Fraudulent Website Warning feature is also enabled by default, so users aren't likely to know that their IP address may be logged unless they opt to view the information screen.

Feature - Default

'This feature appears to be 'on' by default in...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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