Apple reveals number of government requests for customer data, but still gagged from disclosing all

Apple reveals number of government requests for customer data, but still gagged from disclosing all

Apple has published a Report on Government Information Requests detailing the number of requests it receives from governments around the world to turn over customer data. At present, the company is limited to only providing a broad range for the number from the US government.

Regarding the policy, Apple said the following in its report:

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. Despite our extensive efforts in this area, we do not yet have an agreement that we feel adequately addresses our customers’ right to know how often and under what circumstances we provide data to law enforcement agencies.

The table below includes requests from between January 1, 2013 and June 30, 2013.

Screen Shot 2013-11-05 at 12.40.17 PM

The report, which appears to be a first for Apple, contains all the data that the company is legally allowed to share. Moving forward, Apple said that it will “continue to advocate for greater transparency.”

Apple revealed in June that it had received 4,000-5,000 requests from US officials between December 2012 and May 2013. The firm said at the time that its legal team reviews each request and only provides the “narrowest possible set of information” to the authorities when appropriate.

In July, Apple teamed up with other US tech companies, including Google and Facebook, to petition the government for the right to publish regular reports about the number of requests they receive. When Apple was first implicated as being complicit with NSA’s PRISM surveillance program earlier this year, the company denied its involvement, saying that it had never heard of it.

Report on Government Information Requests [Apple]

Image Credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

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