A chief concern of many businesses is the ability to protect the data and privacy of their clients. Yet when doing business in China, this can be difficult.
For example, a state-owned Chinese telecommunications company is storing iCloud data concerning Chinese users of Apple. Apple claims it had no choice when it came to Chinese-based company.
This is not the only such occurrence. A Chinese state-owned company is taking over the iCloud data for another big player as well. This is significant in that it means state-owned firms have almost entire access and control of iCloud date within China.
Protecting your customers
As of right now, companies may either need to provide state-run firms access to the iCloud data, or not provide and iCloud services at all. In Apple’s case, they released a statement saying in effect: “We elected to continue offering iCloud as we felt that discontinuing the service would result in a bad user experience and less data security and privacy for our Chinese customers.”
Apple claims it still controls the encryption keys for customer accounts. But critics feel that changes to the law will make it more difficult for the company to protect customer privacy. There is currently little a company can say if Chinese officials demand access to this data.
Currently, there appears to be uneven implementation of Chinese laws. However, there is increasing pressure to various regions throughout China to conform with central authority.
Whether it be technology, inventions or customer data, it is important that steps be taken by companies to protect this information. Not protecting these items can come with a significant cost to your company.