APPLE COMES ACROSS as a tough no-compromise company in the public eye, refusing to bow down to federal pressure to open access to an iPhone even if it belongs to a terrorist, for example.
But it would appear the behind closed doors Apple is slightly more compliant with the rulings of various government that it might appear.
Bloomberg found that a filing with the Russian Federal service for supervision of communications, information technology, and mass communications which shows that Apple complies with Russkie law that requires the data it holds on Russian customers to be stored on servers in the country.
As such, the names, email addresses, phone numbers and delivery addresses belonging to Russia Apple fans sit on servers Apple runs in Russia. While messages contacts, photos and documents of Russian Apple users are not sorted on Russia-based servers, the passport numbers, full addresses, and work and income history of Apple's Russian workers are stored on servers in the nation.
Given Apple has previously touted support for GDPR and regulations that enforce strong privacy and data handling controls over private customer information, complying with Russian law is a bit more of a head-scratcher. That's because the Russian authorities have been branded as alleged snoopers and having a government that's not against infringing upon its citizen's privacy.
According to Foreign Policy, by complying to Russian laws on data storage, Apple could be compelled to hand over decrypted user data to Russian authorities under the nation's counterterrorism laws.
Apple does make quite the song and dance about end-to-end encryption is has in its services and tech, so its Russian customers and workers should theoretically be protected against clandestine snooping.
And this is not the first time Apple has played ball with a government that has an alleged questionable approach to privacy; it has also cooperated with a similar Chinese law last year, though at the time boss man Tim Cook was adamant that no snooping was happening thanks to Apple's encryption.
You might wonder why Apple didn't kick up a stink at the Russian law; well, Russia has a history of threatening to shut out firms that don't comply with its laws.
And Apple is a company that likes to make a lot of money so we guess it would rather agree to data storing rules than lose out of a slice of the Russian mobile market; after all money talks very loudly, almost certainly louder than privacy and government infringement concerns. µ
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