iPhone users have always been proud for the fact their data on the phone and Apple’s cloud services is safe. However, new information reveals that one of the biggest tech giants of the world might not be as good with protecting user data as it may seem to the world.
The end to end encryption of data on various Apple services was a big indication that the company was not going to make its users’ data available to any unauthorized parties. In fact, 2016 was a great year for Apple as it received great praise from the people for protecting their data Apple won people’s hearts by refusing to make its data security barriers less tight for FBI and other government agencies to access user data.
But that’s where the good part of the story ends. The vulnerability in Apple’s system does exist and it will be called Apple’s fault due to the nature of the problem. The information source is Chinese state media which revealed that a group of suppliers for Apple had been at fault of leaking user data.
According to Chinese media 20 workers of these vendors and suppliers of Apple were taken to the jail by police. Their main crime was trading of information i.e. they were not just leaking information but making money from it.
The 20 workers were involved in trading information. The most shocking thing about their crime was that being the employees of Apple’s suppliers they had free access to the data of Apple users. They sold the data of these individuals and made more than $7 million from these trades.
Among these Apple vendors there was a marketing company too – you could imagine how they will trade information and to what extent.
In January, Chinese police noticed that exchange and trade of Apple users’ data was taking place in the black market. After 5 months, the police was in a position to make arrests. Jiangsu, Fujian and Guangdong were the provinces were nearly all of these data thief were arrested.
Apple made its iMessage service secure by providing end to end encryption to its users. It even denied giving any of its user data to FBI. However, working with third parties for supplying proved to be expensive for Apple as the vulnerability exists in that system.
A total of 22 arrests were made by Chinese police and they were sent to a detention center. They are facing criminal charges for their act and all their belongings through which they were making these trades were also confiscated by the Chinese police.
It is not clear at the moment if the data they stole was only sold within China or to other countries as well. However, right after arresting the individuals, Police were able to take down any information they had made available online for people to buy.
This news can be a big shock for Apple users as the money made from the trade of information shows that a lot of data has been shared with unknown parties. Whose information was it? Who’s going to face the consequences of the illegal data share? This is unknown at the moment but Apple will have to take some serious steps to give confidence to its users.