Apple's Safari Is Sending Safe Browsing Data To Tencent
Anil - Oct 14, 2019
The catch, as always, is that Tencent frequently cooperates with the Chinese government regarding user privacy.
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Over the years, Apple has teamed up with Google to fight back against phishing scams, especially when the tech giant started sending data from the Safari browser to Google’s Safe Browsing, using a helpful feature called "Fraudulent Website Warning". However, Apple users might have to contemplate such data while another big name from China, Tencent, also gets them on its own. Instead of only Google’s system, iPhones running on iOS 13 (or even iOS 12.2) also deliver data to Tencent Safe Browsing. It still remains unclear whether the Chinese giant hunts for any information from web surfers outside of China.
As most of us imagine, concerns over this problem are revolving on what it might use that data for. In fact, Tencent or Google could log IP to make their anti-phishing systems work. The catch, as always, is that Tencent frequently cooperates with the Chinese government regarding user privacy, so it will be definitely terrifying if they used it for several nefarious ends or surveillance. In the meantime, Apple hasn’t yet made any comment when being asked.
For those who are worried, you can turn off the feature in Safari’s Settings menu. It comes at a cost when you have to experience less vigilance against sketchy pages. The catch, of course, is that this featured is activated by default without any notification from Apple. Moreover, it also doesn’t specify Tencent’s operations. Aside from the company’s recent decision like removing a Hongkong protest app, Apple will have to go to great lengths to make hundreds of millions of iPhone users feel safer.