In a recent transparency report, Apple unveiled that US law enforcement agencies made more than 1450customer data requests in the second half of 2015. This impacted more than 1200 customer accounts, rising from some 900 odd requests made during the first half of last year. The requests solely demanded data from services like iMessage, Emails, Photographs and backup data.
TheApple Transparency Report
Apple Inc.’s transparency report has been trending more than ever since the Snowden revelations. Historically, we have witnessed Google, Yahoo, Twitter, Facebook and various tech giants disclosing the gag orders and state requests for customer data. Now, Apple has revealed that authorities demanded user data over 1,000 times during the second half of 2015. Surprisingly, Apple complied with only 82% of the requests.
With increasing number of requests, the number of victims is rising dramatically. According to the report Apple has categorized the requests in two sections namely Account requests and Device requests. Account requests involve information about account holder’s iTunes, iCloud data, Name, Address, Photos, Emails, Documents, Contacts, Calendars, Bookmarks and device backups. Device requests include date and contact information provided to register the account or service.
Key Findings of the Apple Transparency Report
Following key aspects were noted by theApple Transparency Report that Apple customers should definitely know:
- About 80% of the requests were made in the North America and 97% in the Latin America.
- The company received only 3 requests for accounts to be deleted.
- 4009 device requests were received in the North America, affecting 16,148 iOS devices.
- 19,322 device requests were received in the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa, affecting 111,807 iOS devices.
- Apple complied with 80% device requests in North America and 52% in the Europe, Middle East, India and Africa.
Where is this saga headed?
Various tech giants including Google, Facebook, Microsoft have surrendered their customer privacy before surveillance agencies, where Apple Inc.drew the line and denied compromising user data. In addition to this,Apple has demanded that authorities present a search warrant and customer notification for future requests. Moreover, if the legitimacy of the request is questioned, Apple will challenge it in the court as it did before.
But with such an aggressive resistance, law enforcement agencies may face hurdles in upcoming days to tackle rising cyber threats.
You have to respect Apple for dropping their transparency report right before Congress says they don’t give enough user data to government.
— Nu Wexler (@wexler) April 19, 2016