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Tuesday, November 05, 2013
Apple Releases Report On Government Requests
Apple is the latest major tech company to release a report outlining the requests it receives from governments around the world seeking information on its users.
Apple has released a document which includes requests from all countries and covers a period ranging from January 1st to June 30th of this year.
"We believe that our customers have a right to understand how their personal information is handled, and we consider it our responsibility to provide them with the best privacy protections available," Apple said.
The report provides statistics on requests related to Apple's customer accounts as well as those related to specific devices.
Apple said it would continue to advocate for greater transparency about the requests we receive.
The commpany clarified it has no interest in amassing personal information about its customers, while it protects personal conversations by providing end-to-end encryption over iMessage and FaceTime. The company also said it does not store location data, Maps searches, or Siri requests in any identifiable form.
The U.S. government does not allow Apple to disclose, except in broad ranges, the number of national security orders, the number of accounts affected by the orders, or whether content, such as emails, was disclosed.
"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," Apple added.
In its report, which follows similar disclosures from Microsoft, Google, Facebook and others, Apple said it received between 1,000 and 2,000 account information requests from U.S. law enforcement bodies, affecting between 2,000 and 3,000 Apple accounts. It said it disclosed data on zero to 1,000 accounts. Apple received 3542 device requests, which in total factored in 8,605 consumer devices.
"Many of the device requests we receive are initiated by our own customers working together with law enforcement," Apple says.