Would Apple Hand Over iCloud Data to Indonesian Government?

Between a rock and a hard place.
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An agreement with Indonesia has been made by some of the world’s largest tech firms, and of course that includes Apple. The agreement is twofold – to comply with government mandated censorship of the populace and potentially hand over data from any users that criticize or oppose the government.

Here’s an excerpt of the Financial Times article linked above:

The world’s biggest tech groups have signed up to a law in Indonesia that campaigners warn threatens freedom of expression in south-east Asia’s largest economy, in the latest compromise by the sector to retain access to an important market.

Financial Times

In regards to a company like Apple, this agreement could mean anything from removing apps from the App Store, or handing over iCloud user data from anyone the government deems necessary – including journalists, activists and protestors.

Social media companies including Meta, TikTok and Twitter have registered for a licence at the Indonesian communications ministry under which they might have to censor content and hand over users’ data. Some registered only hours before a deadline at midnight on Wednesday.

Financial Times

The Financial Times reports, that alongside Apple – Microsoft, Google, Amazon, Netflix and Spotify have also signed up. This puts everyone into a tricky situation, to say the least.

Apple has been known to cooperate with the whims of its larger markets, such as in China where Apple has gone as far as removing news and VPN apps from the App Store, and housing China-specific data centers domestically.

However, there’s always the chance of Apple taking a stand on this matter. Indonesia is a big market, but asking for iCloud data is a very big ask. Privacy is huge for Apple and I would wager Apple would gladly pay fines to keep user data secure…

Unless Indonesia would instead ban Apple products and services all-together… then I’m not so sure.

Oh boy, Timmy, you really have your work cut out for you here.

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