Reports are coming out of China that the Apple News app has become unusable and that Apple is willingly blocking access to the service. China’s government is well known for its strict policy against news it deems unfit entering the country and if you want to do business in China you have to play ball. Apple, along with Google, is looking to get back into China where there are literally millions of users to be had which translates to a lot of potential revenue for both companies. Google has had its run ins with the Chinese government and has been working at softening those relations. Apple has made some headway in the matter also making concessions and bending to China’s strict policies.
While the blocking of the Apple News app isn’t all that surprising, the developer that discovered the blocking (Larry Salibra) brings up a concern that could be valid depending on how you view things. Salibra has dubbed Apple’s control over a device’s content delivery the “China Kill Switch.” Salibra says that Apple’s method doesn’t use IP or geolocation to kill access to certain services but rather they use cellular networks.
“What worries me, is that the mechanism Apple uses to disable the News app and Apple Maps uses the location of the user to change the behavior of their device without their permission, even if the location service is disabled in the privacy settings,” Salibra writes.
It seems Salibra’s point is that, even with location services disabled, Apple still knows your location. If this is true then true privacy is non-existent on your iOS device. Location services being turned off may prevent applications from knowing your location, but Apple still knows where you are even with it off. What is unknown is if this only affects Apple devices sold in China or if this is a blanket feature Apple has built in all their devices.
What do you think of the Apple News app being blocked in China? And what do you think about Apple still knowing your location even with location services disabled? Let us know in the comments below or on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.Source: Apple Insider
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