“Apple has unveiled updated guidelines for dealing with government requests for customer information, including a clear demand for search warrants from law enforcers that has won praise from major privacy rights groups,” Benjamin Pimentel reports for MarketWatch. “Apple’s policies posted on the company’s site this week made it clear that it will let its customers know if a government or law enforcement agency has requested information about them, unless constrained by law.”

“For many requests, including for information stored in iCloud, Apple’s famous service in which users store various types of content, including photos, music, contacts and calendars, or ‘transactional activity’ related to the ‘Find MyPhone’ feature used in the iPhone, the company said law enforcers must product a court order or a search warrant,” Pimentel reports. “‘iCloud only stores the content for these services that the customer has elected to maintain in the account while the customer’s account remains active,’ the company said. ‘Apple does not retain deleted content once it is cleared from Apple’s servers. Apple will produce customer content in these categories only in response to a valid search warrant.'”

“Rainey Reitman, activism director for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called Apple’s statement ‘a big step forward,'” Pimentel reports. “Apple’s position is consistent with the view of civil rights advocates that authorities need a warrant. Many law enforcement agencies argue that a subpoena is sufficient. Chris Calabrese, legislative counsel with the American Civil Liberties Union, said Apple is being ‘very clear that the information held in the iCloud, in email or PhotoStream is only accessible with a warrant. That’s a very positive and noteworthy thing.'”

Read more in the full article here.

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