Apple responds to claims it shares data with Chinese company, Tencent

The tech giant uses Tencent to provide a safe browsing service to comply with Chinese regulations


Apple has said it doesn’t share actual URLs with third parties, in response to a report that claimed that the tech giant shares browsing data with Chinese company Tencent.

The report came from professor and cryptographer Matthew Green, who raised concerns about third parties, such as Tencent, seeing IP addresses and URLs.

Green looked into how Apple uses Tencent to provide a safe browsing service. He inferred that the data could allow companies to build profiles on users’ browsing behaviour.

However, Apple confirmed to Bloomberg that actual website URLs are not shared with Tencent. It also confirmed that it only uses Tencent for devices that have a China region code to provide safe browsing.

“Safari receives a list of websites known to be malicious from Google, and for devices with their region code set to mainland China, it receives a list from Tencent. The actual URL of a website you visit is never shared with a safe browsing provider and the feature can be turned off,” the company stated. 

The tech giant also stated that users can turn off the fraudulent website warnings feature by going into their device’s settings.

Source: Bloomberg, 9to5Google