Apple has issued a warning to its users in China who are creating Apple IDs overseas to circumvent a new law that requires their personal data to be stored within China, Reuters is reporting. The tech giant announced last year that it will migrate all user data from Chinese iCloud accounts to local servers run by Guizhou-Cloud Big Data Industry, in order to comply with the country’s new cyber security law.
Apple notified users of the shift earlier this week via emails linked to Chinese iCloud accounts, that the big data move is scheduled to take place on February 28th. As a result, some users are creating foreign Apple ID accounts to evade strict censorship controls by accessing overseas App Stores which host virtual private network (VPN) apps and other features, all of which have been pulled by Apple from the Chinese App Store.
However, some users say they are unconvinced and will disable their accounts. Other Apple loyalists told Reuters that they feared that refusing the new data terms or attempting risky solutions could mean losing their accounts or data.
“I‘m pretty sure the is a technical issue, [but] even if you choose a different region now, you will still be unclear where your data will go after the handover,” said one user surnamed Wang, who told Reuters he has been using U.S. Apple IDs since before iPhones were available in China.
The iPhone maker has previously stated it has strong data privacy protections in place for its Chinese data operations, and that no backdoors will be created in any of its systems.