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Friday, September 7, 2018
Apple to Launch Online Portal for Law Enforcement Officers


Apple will unveil a web portal for processing and tracking requests from law enforcement officers across the globe for users' data.

"By the end of 2018, we will begin the launch of an online portal for authenticated law enforcement officers globally to submit lawful requests for data, track requests, and obtain responsive data from Apple," the Cupertino-based iPhone maker informed on its website late on Thursday.

The company is building a team of professionals dedicated to training law enforcement officers globally.

"It will significantly increase our ability to reach smaller police forces and agencies. This will include the development of an online training module for officers," said Apple.

In the July-December 2017 period, the governments around the world sent requests for device information on 29,718 Apple devices.

Overall, the data was provided in 79 per cent of cases, Apple said in its bi-annual transparency report that came out in May this year.

The governments and private parties around the world also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts and data was provided in 82 per cent of cases.

"Additionally, Apple regularly receives multi-device requests related to fraud investigations. Device-based requests generally seek details of customers associated with devices or device connections to Apple services," the Cupertino-based company said.

The tech giant said that starting with the period July 1-December 31, 2018, it will "report on government requests to take down Apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions".

Seperately, Reuters reports that Apple plans to create an online tool for police to formally request data about its users and to assemble a team to train police about what data can and cannot be obtained from the iPhone maker.

The information was obtained by a "company letter" seen by Reuters.

The letter, dated Sept. 4, was from Apple General Counsel Kate Adams to U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, a Democrat from Rhode Island.

Apple declined to comment beyond the letter.

Apple has sparred with U.S. law enforcement officials because it encrypts its devices in such a way that Apple cannot access the devices if asked to do so.


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