Apple has released a matter currently following a slew of dubious and poorly-researched media reports that were published over a weekend, claiming that a Safari web browser was personally promulgation user trade to Chinese association Tencent.
All a reports were anchored in a new find that Apple had implemented a second “safe browsing” complement within Safari.
Safe browsing mechanisms were named so after Google’s Safe Browsing service. They work by holding a URL a user is perplexing to entrance and checking it opposite a database of famous bad sites.
For years, Apple has used Google’s Safe Browsing API inside Safari to check for bad links. Starting progressing this year, Apple also combined Tencent’s protected browsing complement to Apple as well.
But this refurbish has been misinterpreted by several news outlets over a weekend underneath frightful headlines of “Apple sends users’ web browsing story to China,” amid a new arise in Chinese anti-sentiment and fearmongering triggered by a new Hong Kong protests and a US-Sino trade war.
However, a existence is that this is not how complicated protected browsing mechanisms work.
It’s loyal that early versions of protected browsing mechanisms did rest on promulgation a URL over a internet to a “safe browsing provider” where a couple was checked opposite a remote database of antagonistic sites.
But, nowadays, many protected browsing mechanisms, such as those managed by Google and Tencent, work by promulgation a duplicate of a database to a user’s browser and vouchsafing a browser check a URL opposite this internal database.
According to Apple, this is also how Apple developers have implemented Safari’s protected browsing resource — to never send a user’s internet browsing trade to protected browsing providers.
Tencent’s protected browsing used usually for inclination with Chinese locale
Furthermore, as several developers have also forked out over a weekend, Tencent is not a default protected browsing provider. Tencent is usually used on inclination where a Chinese locality is enabled [1, 2, 3].
The logic behind ancillary Tencent is utterly elementary — a Chinese supervision bans Google domains inside China; hence, Safari users in China wouldn’t be means to accept Google’s database of antagonistic links and successive updates.
Apple combined support for Tencent as an choice protected browsing provider privately for Chinese users. It did so in sequence to keep a Chinese userbase safe, identical to everybody else, and uncover alerts whenever one of them competence finish adult erratic off and alighting on a bad site.
Below is Apple’s full statement:
Apple protects user remoteness and safeguards your information with Safari Fraudulent Website Warning, a confidence underline that flags websites famous to be antagonistic in nature. When a underline is enabled, Safari checks a website URL opposite lists of famous websites and displays a warning if a URL a user is visiting is suspected of fake control like phishing.
To accomplish this task, Safari receives a list of websites famous to be antagonistic from Google, and for inclination with their segment formula set to mainland China, it receives a list from Tencent. The tangible URL of a website we revisit is never common with a protected browsing provider and a underline can be incited off.