Apple Releases Guidelines for Law Enforcement Data Requests

applelogo.png In a new legal resources page posted on its website Wednesday night (via 9to5Mac), Apple outlined its guidelines regarding requests for customer data from from U.S. law enforcement agencies, specifying what information the company can and can not retrieve from devices upon the receipt of a search warrant or legal notice.

Regarding the extraction of data from passcode locked iOS devices, Apple states that it may only retrieve information from its own first party apps, which includes SMS messages, photos, videos, contacts, audio recording, and call history. However, Apple can not provide access to email, calendar entries or third-party app data. The company says the data extraction process itself can only be performed on devices in "good working order" at its Cupertino, California headquarters.

Apple will also assist law enforcement in returning lost iPhones to their rightful owners, agreeing to contact the customer of record and have them contact law enforcement to get their property back pending available information.

The new page follows a report from The Washington Post last week which stated that the company would begin notifying its users of secret personal data requests from law enforcement. Apple has become increasingly concerned about privacy matters since the discovery of PRISM, a secret intelligence program ran by the NSA.

CEO Tim Cook was noted as saying that the NSA would have to "cart [Apple] out in a box" before it could access the company's servers, as Apple also hired certified privacy professional Sabrina Ross last month to oversee the protection of consumer data.

Top Rated Comments

Soy Cowboy Avatar
130 months ago
The NSA is not a law enforcement agency. This announcement is nice, but it doesn't address the larger issue of government surveillance.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DELLsFan Avatar
130 months ago
... However, at the end of the day, there is no real point in being paranoid if the government looks into you. If you honestly have nothing to hide then there shouldn't be an issue...

Tell that to the scores of conservative groups that have been unlawfully targeted by the IRS. The government isn't retaining all surveilled data and storing it for later use to prevent terrorist attacks. It could care less about the terror being inflicted on the border states in the south by the waves of illegal democrat voters invading for example. Forgive me if I am skeptical of the so-called protection afforded me by spying on everyone in the US. We daren't profile the one group that seeks to undermine and do the most harm to us - even after they destroyed our World Trade Centers. We can't profile the one group that continues killing our troops and scores of innocent civilians overseas. No, this government is doing far more harm to our Constitution and liberties to pursue its own agenda than the Patriot Act ever did.

Meanwhile, I certainly do not trust what Apple or any other company has to say about the data they are already giving up to the Feds. This PR announcement (among others) is smoke and mirrors. The NSA and U.S government already have access to anything you do in iCLoud, your cellphone, your webcam, your PC, your laptop, and even your car. They certainly have all encryption algorithms and the ability to decrypt email, cloud storage, etc...

The current out-of-control, lawless government should be working for us, not the other way around. It's not a matter of having something to hide. It's a matter of Constitutional protection as American citizens. It's about limiting the power of centralized government. The 4th and 10th ammendments mean something. I just wish more children today were studying them and more people would actually read them.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
mrxak Avatar
130 months ago
This is good that there are some transparent guidelines to this issue.

However, at the end of the day, there is no real point in being paranoid if the government looks into you. If you honestly have nothing to hide then there shouldn't be an issue.

I personally would not care if some NSA analyst read my text messages. I've got nothing to be guilty of. They might think I'm a bit weird though.
Everybody has something to hide. But putting that aside, it's not about whether or not people have something to hide. It's about whether or not the government has a reason to know absolutely everything about you. The requirement is on them to prove they need this information. We are not required to prove we need privacy. We get privacy as a natural right, and that privacy can only be breached with probable cause.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work. That's what the founders intended.

What the NSA and other government agencies in the executive branch are doing is ripping up the 4th Amendment, and claiming they have to because there's a bogeyman that wants to hurt you. What's more, they're setting the precedent that they can rip up any part of our constitution, at any time, just because they feel like it. Is that a precedent you want set?

What's more, the thing doesn't work! Other than some "LOVEINT" conducted by some corrupt employees at the NSA to illegally spy on their girlfriends or husbands, showing us that they can't be trusted with this power, what has PRISM actually successfully accomplished? It didn't stop the Boston Marathon bombings. It didn't stop Edward Snowden from fleeing the country with massive amounts of stolen intelligence. There are plenty of public examples of NSA incompetence, and PRISM not protecting us, and absolutely zero evidence that they've done anything well or actually protected us. If we really want to have a conversation about changing our constitution and giving up our freedoms, it needs to be a public one. All the NSA offers is some vague "well this stopped some threats" with no details to prove they're not making it all up. It's up to them to prove they need this power, and that it actually works as intended. It's not up to us to prove we need them not to. Absolutely nobody here needs to justify their desire for privacy.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
bigandtasty Avatar
130 months ago
I actually dont remember this, article?

who cares
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
XboxMySocks Avatar
130 months ago
This is actually rather impressive. Good for them
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
2984839 Avatar
130 months ago
Everybody has something to hide. But putting that aside, it's not about whether or not people have something to hide. It's about whether or not the government has a reason to know absolutely everything about you. The requirement is on them to prove they need this information. We are not required to prove we need privacy. We get privacy as a natural right, and that privacy can only be breached with probable cause.

At least, that's how it's supposed to work. That's what the founders intended.

What the NSA and other government agencies in the executive branch are doing is ripping up the 4th Amendment, and claiming they have to because there's a bogeyman that wants to hurt you. What's more, they're setting the precedent that they can rip up any part of our constitution, at any time, just because they feel like it. Is that a precedent you want set?

What's more, the thing doesn't work! Other than some "LOVEINT" conducted by some corrupt employees at the NSA to illegally spy on their girlfriends or husbands, showing us that they can't be trusted with this power, what has PRISM actually successfully accomplished? It didn't stop the Boston Marathon bombings. It didn't stop Edward Snowden from fleeing the country with massive amounts of stolen intelligence. There are plenty of public examples of NSA incompetence, and PRISM not protecting us, and absolutely zero evidence that they've done anything well or actually protected us. If we really want to have a conversation about changing our constitution and giving up our freedoms, it needs to be a public one. All the NSA offers is some vague "well this stopped some threats" with no details to prove they're not making it all up. It's up to them to prove they need this power, and that it actually works as intended. It's not up to us to prove we need them not to. Absolutely nobody here needs to justify their desire for privacy.

Spot on. The Constitution is a default-deny document. Unfortunately, the government has changed the root pasword to "National Security".
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

iOS 18 Will Add These New Features to Your iPhone

Friday April 12, 2024 11:11 am PDT by
iOS 18 is expected to be the "biggest" update in the iPhone's history. Below, we recap rumored features and changes for the iPhone. iOS 18 is rumored to include new generative AI features for Siri and many apps, and Apple plans to add RCS support to the Messages app for an improved texting experience between iPhones and Android devices. The update is also expected to introduce a more...
iGBA Feature

Game Boy Emulator for iPhone Now Available in App Store Following Rule Change [Removed]

Sunday April 14, 2024 8:06 am PDT by
A week after Apple updated its App Review Guidelines to permit retro game console emulators, a Game Boy emulator for the iPhone called iGBA has appeared in the App Store worldwide. The emulator is already one of the top free apps on the App Store charts. It was not entirely clear if Apple would allow emulators to work with all and any games, but iGBA is able to load any Game Boy ROMs that...
iGBA Feature

Apple Removes Game Boy Emulator iGBA From App Store Due to Spam and Copyright Violations

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:22 pm PDT by
Apple today said it removed Game Boy emulator iGBA from the App Store for violating the company's App Review Guidelines related to spam (section 4.3) and copyright (section 5.2), but it did not provide any specific details. iGBA was a copycat version of developer Riley Testut's open-source GBA4iOS app. The emulator rose to the top of the App Store charts following its release this weekend,...
iOS NES Emulator Bimmy Feature

NES Emulator for iPhone and iPad Now Available on App Store [Removed]

Tuesday April 16, 2024 11:33 am PDT by
The first approved Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) emulator for the iPhone and iPad was made available on the App Store today following Apple's rule change. The emulator is called Bimmy, and it was developed by Tom Salvo. On the App Store, Bimmy is described as a tool for testing and playing public domain/"homebrew" games created for the NES, but the app allows you to load ROMs for any...
m3 mbp space black

M4 Macs Are Expected to Launch in This Order Starting Later This Year

Sunday April 14, 2024 10:40 am PDT by
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman recently reported that the first Macs with M4 series chips will be released later this year, with more models to follow next year. In his Power On newsletter today, Gurman shared a more specific roadmap for these Macs. Here is the order in which Gurman expects the Macs to launch:1. A low-end 14-inch MacBook Pro with the M4, coming around the end of 2024. 2. A 24-inch ...
iOS 18 Siri Integrated Feature

Apple's First AI Features in iOS 18 Reportedly Won't Use Cloud Servers

Sunday April 14, 2024 9:52 am PDT by
Apple's first set of new AI features planned for iOS 18 will not rely on cloud servers at all, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. "As the world awaits Apple's big AI unveiling on June 10, it looks like the initial wave of features will work entirely on device," said Gurman, in the Q&A section of his Power On newsletter today. "That means there's no cloud processing component to the...
new best buy blue

Best Buy Opens Up Sitewide Sale With Record Low Prices on M3 MacBook Air, iPad, and Much More

Saturday April 13, 2024 7:41 am PDT by
Best Buy this weekend has a big sale on Apple MacBooks and iPads, including new all-time low prices on the M3 MacBook Air, alongside the best prices we've ever seen on MacBook Pro, iPad, and more. Some of these deals require a My Best Buy Plus or My Best Buy Total membership, which start at $49.99/year. In addition to exclusive access to select discounts, you'll get free 2-day shipping, an...