Apple Publishes Government Information Requests, Canadian Data Included
Apple has just published a report revealing government information requests to provide better transparency to customers on how the company protects your data:
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 has prepared this report on the requests we receive from governments seeking information about individual users or devices in the interest of transparency for our customers around the world.
This report provides statistics on requests related to customer accounts as well as those related to specific devices. We have reported all the information we are legally allowed to share, and Apple will continue to advocate for greater transparency about the requests we receive.
Apple says it protects personal conversations by “providing end-to-end encryption over iMessage and FaceTime. We do not store location data, Maps searches, or Siri requests in any identifiable form.”
Looking at the chart below, Canadian law enforcement has requested information from Apple 6 times, with data disclosed in 4 of those cases. Account requests are logged by Apple has as requests which seek information on an account holders’ personal data such as iTunes, iCloud or Game Center.
When it comes to device information requests, 38 device requests were received by Apple from Canadian law enforcement agencies, with 224 devices specified. Out of these requests, 35 had some data provided by Apple, leading to an overall 92 percentage where some data was handed over.
Apple says the “vast majority” of requests are regarding information on lost and stolen devices, which are logged as device requests.
The data from these tables were generated from January 1 to June 30, 2013.
Apple says a U.S. government gag order does not allow them to disclose national security orders, other than on a broad scale. Apple says it opposes this gag order and has pushed the government to allow them to publish accurate numbers regarding Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISA Court) and National Security Letters.