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Apple will let a state-owned firm control iCloud data in China. Daderot/Wikimedia Commons

Apple announced Thursday that it will allow a state-run company in China handle the operations of its iCloud services in the country in order to comply with data retention laws within the country.

Apple has already started to alert its international users of the change. For users who do not want to accept the new policy and would rather not have their data stored on a server owned by the Chinese government, Apple is giving those users the option to delete their iCloud account.

According to Apple, the change will go into effect on February 28, and users will need to agree to the new terms and conditions of iCloud before that date in order to continue utilizing the cloud storage service in China. Users affected by the change will receive notification from Apple on their devices and via email.

After February, Apple’s iCloud will be operated by Guizhou on the Cloud Big Data (GCBD), a firm owned by the Guizhou provincial government.

All iCloud accounts that have China listed for the country or region setting will be subject to the change, but international users have reportedly received notification warning that their data will also be transferred to servers operated by GCBD.

That presents a concern, as the move to a state-run server presents the possibility of government intervention to access user iCloud data. Apple agreed to allow GCBD to operate the server in order to comply with local laws that require tech firms offering cloud storage to use local companies to store the data and keep said data within the borders of the country.

Allowing government control over the servers storing user data—especially a government known for invasive behavior—presents concerns that law enforcement may be able to gain access to information that would otherwise be walled off by the service.

While Apple has told users that the same encryption standards will be applied to iCloud data stored on the GCBD servers and that no backdoors will be created to allow access to information, the terms and conditions for users offers less assurances.

“You understand and agree that Apple and GCBD will have access to all data that you store on this service, including the right to share, exchange and disclose all user data, including Content, to and between each other under applicable law,” the user agreement reads.

Apple’s compliance with the Chinese government’s rules for data retention is just the latest example of the American company acquiescing to the restrictive laws of China. The company has complied with requests to remove certain apps from the iTunes App Store, including virtual private network (VPN) services that would allow users to bypass the government’s censorship of the internet.

For users who are exposed to the potential change, there is a workaround to avoid the Chinese government-controlled server. Users can edit the country or region setting of their Apple ID in order to reflect a different location. By switching the device region to the United States and signing into iCloud, the account should not be served with a notification about data being transferred to the GCBD server.