Apple releases numbers on US government user data requests

By on
apple, nsa, spying, accounts, attorney general, devices, data requests, report on government information requests

It looks like Apple is next to divulge information regarding government data requests, after Facebook and Yahoo did the same some time ago. Apple's report covers requests made by US law enforcement between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013. Of what the company was able to reveal, we know that the US government has made between 1000 and 2000 account requests that directly effect somewhere between 2000 and 3000 specific accounts. According to Apple, somewhere between 0 and 1000 of said accounts were disclosed.

As you likely imagined, the reason the data is vague is because of the restrictions put on the companies by the government. They are not allowed to disclose the exact numbers of requests as well as the specific accounts in question. "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 stated with regards to government data request disclosure.

As for device requests, Apple is able to give much more specific numbers as they tend not have anything to do with national security but rather lost and stolen goods. Apple received 3542 device requests that pointed out 8,605 different devices, of which Apple provided data for 3,110 of them.

Notably, Apple stated in the reports that it has never received requests pertaining to Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which allows the government to seek out data whether it has probable cause or not and denies companies the ability to disclose the activity.

On top of that, the report shows requests from 31 other countries including the UK, Australia, Canada, and China. You can check out the rest of data requests in Apple's November 5, 2013 Report on Government Information Requests document.

Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...
Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.