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Apple Maps too good for Taiwanese military

Cupertino told to blur images before China spots radar ... Oops

Apple iOS 6 Maps

Apple’s much-derided maps app which caused widespread user consternation when it effectively replaced Google Maps in the latest version of iOS, has come under fire yet again, but this time for being too accurate.

The Taiwanese government has formally requested that Cupertino uses only low-res satellite images when detailing sensitive facilities, as Google already does, according to AP.

Defence ministry spokesman David Lo did admit, however, that the military also had an obligation to hide such facilities from prying eyes.

The cause of all the fuss is a 10-storey, $1.4bn early-warning radar installation located near Hsinchu airbase in the north of the country.

Built with US technology, the facility will apparently be able to track missiles from far-away locations in mainland China, giving locals vital extra minutes to duck and cover in the event of an attack.

Given the level of cross-Straits cyber espionage it’s unclear if China already knew about the installation, but it certainly does now.

The irony, which will not be lost on most iOS 6 users, is that Apple Maps has been roundly slammed since it was released at the end of September for coming up short on places of interest, mistaking the location of towns and, most pertinently, for the poor resolution of its satellite images.

Apple also got into trouble in Turkey recently for similar reasons, after its satellite mapping images depicted various military facilities and a high-profile single man prison, all in glorious high-res.

It seems the fruity tech titan just can’t do right for doing wrong these days. ®

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