Apple transparency report shows governments worldwide ask for data on tens of thousands of users

Apple released its Apple Transparency Report: Government and Private Party Requests for the second half of 2020 on Monday, including details about data requests from governments, companies, and people in litigation around the world.

Apple transparency report shows governments worldwide ask for data on tens of thousands of users

Ian Sherr for CNET:

The tech giant said government requests had targeted 83,307 devices, just under half as many as the same time a year earlier. Apple is often kept from sharing details about government data requests, but it did say it provided data 77% of the time, slightly lower than the 80% the same time a year earlier.

Germany again made the most requests for device data, according to Apple’s report, asking for information from 16,819 devices, down from 19,633 in 2019. The US was the second largest, asking for data on 11,581 devices, fewer than the 97,739 it requested data about in 2019. China rounded out the top three, asking for data on 11,372 devices, up from the 851 requested a year prior.

Apple said national security-related requests made by the US under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, or FISA, targeted as many as 24,499 accounts, which could include stores photos, emails, contacts, calendars or device backups. Apple said it received as many as 499 National Security Letters from the FBI for subscriber information, targeting as many as 999 accounts. Apple said it does not produce transaction information or connection logs in those instances.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple continues its search for balance between transparency and privacy for its users and the need to work with government and law enforcement requests for user data.

The Apple Transparency Report is here: Government and Private Party Requests, July 1 – December 31, 2020.

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