Yesterday, Apple warned their Chinese customers that their data would be migrated to the local servers from February 28, which is managed by a government-owned company. While according to the reports of TechCrunch, some U.S. customers are also being caught up in the iCloud migration of data. The terms & conditions for the transition provide an explanation for the apparent decision made by Apple. They also provide a support document to offer a solution.
The warning in the e-mail that your data will be migrated is something that will matter to the users. The change in the law by the Chinese government in the last year offered cloud storage to use local companies to store data. Thus Apple announced that it would go with a partnership with Guizhou-Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a company owned by the provincial government. Apple also announced that the data migration to the GCBD server would happen from February 28. Though the company assured that the same standard encryption would be maintained with no creation of backdoors into the system, the revised terms & conditions of iCloud migration made it clear that GCBD will have full access to the data.
The accurate interpretation of this is that GCBD has access to the encrypted data needed to operate the servers. The Chinese government will have free access to the data only if they have a legal justification for it.
Why are U.S. Apple iCloud users getting caught up?
Some of Apple’s highlighted terms and conditions state that the iCloud services associated with Apple IDs and have China as their Country or region are the main targets to be transitioned. The two causes for the transition are. First, if an Apple ID was created in China and has the same set even if the customer has now left China, and second, a U.S user who went to China and has changed their country or region.
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To avoid the iCloud data migration, one can deactivate an iCloud account just by using a link Apple provides. But this would lead to the cease of many services like:
• iCloud Backup
• iCloud Photo Library
• iCloud Photo Sharing
• Find My Friends
• iCloud Mail
• Updates to contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, safari tabs etc.
It also provides with some alternative as one can edit the country or the region setting from one’s own Apple ID.