BEIJING, July 11 (UPI) —
China’s state-owned channel CCTV said Friday the iPhone’s user location tracking feature is a security threat that can be used access sensitive information.
The Frequent Locations feature tracks a user’s location and keeps records significant locations and number of visits. A researcher interviewed by CCTV said this feature could track national information and reveal state secrets. It’s possible CCTV is retaliating for U.S. reports that Chinese hackers have been breaking into U.S. computer systems.
China and state media outlets believe that U.S. tech companies like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft are aiding the U.S. government in its snooping programs. Tensions increased after the U.S. indicted five Chinese military officers for hacking into the computers of American companies.
Last month, China blocked government departments from acquiring computers with Microsoft’s Windows 8 operating system. Google’s services have also been disrupted after rumors it is cooperating with the U.S. government to collect information on China.
Other American hardware suppliers like Cisco and IBM have faced a backlash from China, after former NSA contractor Edward Snowden revealed the U.S. government’s mass data collection program.
Apple has refused to comment on the report. Friday’s development is ironic considering Apple CEO Tim Cook has consistently said China is the company’s second most important market. Apple announced a partnership with China Mobile last year to expand the iPhone’s presence in the country.