Apple ParkSource: Apple

What you need to know

  • Apple reportedly unknowingly leaked customer information to hackers in 2021.
  • Hackers posed as law enforcement to get addresses and phone numbers.
  • Meta was also affected by the hack.

Apple may have leaked some of its customer's data unknowingly last year.

According to a report from Bloomberg, people with knowledge of the matter said that the company gave customer data to who they thought was law enforcement but turned out to be hackers. According to the people, hackers gained access to government email addresses and contacted the company for basic information about users including addresses, phone numbers, and IP addresses.

Meta was reportedly also affected by the hacking effort.

Apple Inc. and Meta Platforms Inc., the parent company of Facebook, provided customer data to hackers who masqueraded as law enforcement officials, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

Apple and Meta provided basic subscriber details, such as a customer's address, phone number and IP address, in mid-2021 in response to the forged "emergency data requests." Normally, such requests are only provided with a search warrant or subpoena signed by a judge, according to the people. However, the emergency requests don't require a court order.

Apple is known for its commitment to privacy for its users across all of its hardware, software, and services. The company has increasingly pointed to its privacy efforts as a differentiator compared to its competitors like Google and Facebook. Today's news is a stain on an otherwise impressive track record.

The company is sure to tighten up its process even more when working with law enforcement as, according to the report, it was law enforcement itself that was hacked which led to the data leak. It just goes to show that privacy isn't absolute, no matter who you think could promise it.