Skip to main content

Apple publishes transparency report on Government requests for data

Twitter app privacy settings
Twitter app privacy settings (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • Apple has published a transparency report on information requests from Governments and Private Parties.
  • It covers January 1 - June 30, 2019.
  • The report reveals a pretty high rate of compliance, particularly in the US.

Apple has published a transparency report revealing data on requests for information from Governments and Private Parties between January 1 and June 30, 2019.

An introductory statement says:

Apple is very seriously committed to protecting your data and we work hard to deliver the most secure hardware, software and services available. We believe our customers have a right to understand how their personal data is managed and protected. This report provides information regarding requests Apple received from government agencies worldwide and U.S. private parties from January 1 through June 30, 2019.

In the report (opens in new tab), Apple outlines the various types of requests it receives both from governments and individuals regarding devices, financial identifiers, Apple ID accounts, national security and more. Substantive data shows the number of requests received from a number of countries, as well as the number of devices those requests pertain to in total. Apple has also provided a percentage rate of where requests were complied with.

Sadly, the juicy topical bit about compliance with United States Government National Security Requests is covered by the USA FREEDOM Act of 2015, so Apple can only report the data as ranges of figures. For example under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Apple received "between 0-499" requests pertaining to between 11,000-11,499 users/accounts. There are no figures regarding Apple's compliance with these particular requests, however.

The report in full however reveals that Apple reveals countless requests for information from all manner of parties and many different nations on a daily basis. The level of compliance varies depending on the country, however, the vast majority of all the data shows that Apple can and does action most of the requests it receives. These vary in scope but could include law enforcement agencies assisting people whose devices have been lost or stolen, or people who suspect they have been the victim of financial fraud.

You can read the report in full here! (opens in new tab)

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design.

Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple.