Apple releases some details on law enforcement information requests

Apple releases some details on law enforcement information requests

Apple has disclosed some some information on the requests that it gets from the government for customer information. The company says that only a small percentage of government requests concern actual customer data, with the majority of law enforcement requests seeking information of devices that have been lost or stolen. Apple also talked about what they do when they receive an information request from law enforcement in their report:

Like many companies, Apple receives requests from law enforcement agencies to provide customer information. As we have explained, any government agency demanding customer content from Apple must get a court order. When we receive such a demand, our legal team carefully reviews the order. If there is any question about the legitimacy or scope of the court order, we challenge it. Only when we are satisfied that the court order is valid and appropriate do we deliver the narrowest possible set of information responsive to the request.

Apple reports requests for device information and those for customer account information separately, as device requests and account requests, respectively. The report breaks down the requests into either device or account by country, then breaks them down even further from there. For example, in the United States, Apple has had 3,542 device information requests, with the total number of devices in the requests being 8,605. In 88% of these cases, some data was provided.

It's a positive step towards transparency on this issue, which is of great concern to many people around the world. Apple stresses in their report that they continue to make requests to the government calling for more openness, and that this report is all of the information they can legally release at this time:

We strongly oppose this gag order, and Apple has made the case for relief from these restrictions in meetings and discussions with the White House, the U.S. Attorney General, congressional leaders, and the courts. Despite our extensive efforts in this area, we do not yet have an agreement that we feel adequately addresses our customers’ right to know how often and under what circumstances we provide data to law enforcement agencies.

Is this enough information about the data Apple is giving to governments, or were you hoping for something more in-depth? Let us know in the comments.

Source: Apple

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Joseph Keller

News Writer for Mobile Nations. Fascinated by the ways that technology connects us.

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Reader comments

Apple releases some details on law enforcement information requests


OH MY GOD! Why do you care about the government looking at your data? If you don't like it, delete your email, delete all your social media accounts, throw out your phone, don't buy anything online, in fact just throw out your computer and tv, and box. Lose the console and any accounts associated with it, and bam, no one can see your data

Agreed Gazoobee. Hey boovish, how about you start submitting to strip searches and cameras in your house to watch your every move?

Sadly, the entity you can trust least is your own government.

It won't be too much longer and we'll be answering directly to the Chinese government anyways... Then there won't be any fuss over this kind of issue - we'll just get beat up over it and made to get to work in the camps... Oh, joy.

I would be fine with that, heck I'll even buy a strippersize stripperrobics pole and I will GLADLY DANCE FOR THEM


Its not a matter of having nothing to hide. When some government moron feels like its "the government's" right to view data, and no one calls them on it, they have implied consent to do so. Its like a kid tasting the icing on a cake. Until someone says "NO!" the kid feels like its ok to get away with it. Youre crossing a slippery slope by putting your head in the sand with a "i've got nothing to hide anyway" attitude.

@teepeeayy EXACTLY! Whenever they (the government) feel the need to snoop into a constitutionally protected citizen's rights and the answer is "NO!", the NSA's piss ants whip out the Patriot act and label the individual as a possible threat without the burden of proof being sufficiently proven. So, on that note, kudos to Apple for at least protecting what information they can without a court order.

Working for a local law enforcement agency, I've called Apple just to get owner information for a device we had turned into us that was found in a park. I can say Apple wouldn't even give us that information. It took several days for Apple to confirm where I was calling from and then contacted the owner directly to come to my dept to pick it up. Only then did we learn who the owner is. Apple wouldn't give us anything. Just shows its true what they say here.