Apple has responded to allegations by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV that the ‘frequent locations’ feature in iOS poses a “national security” threat to the country.
CCTV had claimed that the function, which collects data about where an iOS device has been in order to speed-up mapping and location apps, could lead to sensitive data being shared, including “state secrets.
In a strongly worded statement, Apple said that data was only ever stored on a users’ device and that it did not share any of this information with security services.
“We appreciate CCTV’s effort to help educate customers on a topic we think is very important,” said Apple.
“We want to make sure all of our customers in China are clear about what we do and we don’t do when it comes to privacy and your personal data.
“Apple gives customers control over collection and use of location data on all our devices. Customers have to make the choice to enable Location Services, it is not a default setting.
“Apple does not allow any app to receive device location information without first receiving the user’s explicit consent through a simple pop-up alert. This alert is mandatory and cannot be overridden.”
The statement goes on to add that Apple will never open a backdoor into its services for any government.
Apple is looking to continue to make inroads into the Chinese market.
Its larger iPhones, due later this year, are expected to be big hits in a country that remains one of the smartphone world’s most lucrative markets.