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Apple to review mapping policies following Crimea update

Apple has said it will review its mapping policies after being criticized over its Crimea update.

The company updated Apple Maps to show Crimea as part of Russia in some versions of its Maps apps, with some calling the company insensitive, questioning its role in democracy.

The Black Sea peninsula was shown as part of Russia, but only on Russian versions of Apple Maps.

Elsewhere in the world, the map remained unchanged, prompting criticism.

“We are taking a deeper look at how we handle disputed borders in our services and may make changes in the future as a result,” an Apple spokesperson said of the news.

Apple has said that it changed its depiction of Crimea to comply with local laws.

It’s not the first time that Apple has been the subject of criticism in recent months.

Earlier in the year, Apple removed the Taiwanese flag from its emoji keyboard in Hong Kong and Macau, and it pulled an app in Hong Kong designed to help users avoid local protests.

“We would like to clarify for our customers around the world that we have not made any changes to Apple Maps regarding Crimea outside of Russia, where a new law went into effect that required us to update the map within Russia,” Apple said over the weekend.

“We review international law as well as the relevant US and other domestic laws before making a determination in labelling on our Maps and make changes if required by law.

“Our intention is to make sure our customers can enjoy using Maps and other Apple services, everywhere in the world.”

Do you think Apple needs to do more with Maps? Should countries be able to dictate what can and cannot be included? Share your thoughts on this subject via @AppleMagazine.

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