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

(View all)
Avatar
82 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)
Avatar
82 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)
Avatar
82 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)
Avatar
82 months ago

I actually dont remember this, article?


who cares
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 months ago
This is actually rather impressive. Good for them
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
82 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)

Top Stories

Apple Confirms This Year's iPhone 12 Models Will Be a Little Bit Late

Thursday July 30, 2020 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2020 (second calendar quarter) Apple CFO Luca Maestri confirmed that Apple is expecting to release this year's iPhones later than usual. Maestri said that Apple last year started selling iPhones in late September, but this year, Apple projects supply will be "available a few weeks later." Multiple rumors have suggested that ...

Apple-Acquired Dark Sky Officially Shuts Down Android App

Saturday August 1, 2020 3:43 pm PDT by
Apple in March purchased weather app Dark Sky, and at that time, Dark Sky's developers said that the app's Android version would be discontinued on July 1, 2020. However, instead of shuttering the app on that date, the app's developers announced that the discontinuation would be delayed for another month. Now that it's August, Android users are no longer able to access the app, and...

Apple Watch Series 6 to Feature Blood Oxygen Monitoring Sensor

Friday July 31, 2020 1:56 am PDT by
The Apple Watch Series 6 will add blood oxygen monitoring to its features list when it's launched later this year, according to a new report from DigiTimes. Apple Watch 6 will feature biosensors that can monitor sleeping conditions, detect blood oxygen and measure pulse rates, heartbeats and atrial fibrillation, and will also incorporate MEMS-based accelerometer and gyroscope, all allowing the ...

Just How Small Will the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Screen Be? Try It Out for Yourself

Tuesday July 28, 2020 12:57 pm PDT by
As rumors of the iPhone 12 have continued to build over the past few months, the one model that has the most excitement around it is the smallest 5.4" model. The iPhone 12 is believed to be coming in 5.4", 6.7", and 6.1" sizes. Dummy models have shown how much smaller the 5.4" is compared to the rest of the iPhone lineup. The upcoming 5.4" iPhone falls in-between the size of the original...

Top Stories: Try the 5.4-Inch iPhone 12 Display Size, Blockbuster Earnings, Tim Cook at Antitrust Hearing

Saturday August 1, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
Another busy week of Apple news and rumors has wrapped up, with a lot of focus on Tim Cook's appearance at a Congressional antitrust hearing and a blockbuster earnings report. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We continued to hear rumors about the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup, including a rare admission from Apple that the lineup will launch "a few weeks later" than...

Emails Reveal Why Steve Jobs and Phil Schiller Blocked In-App Purchase of Kindle Books

Friday July 31, 2020 6:25 am PDT by
Internal Apple emails, made public by the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust inquiry, have revealed information about why Apple blocked in-app purchases of Kindle books on iOS devices, reports The Verge. Two sets of emails between Steve Jobs, Phil Schiller, Eddy Cue, and various other senior Apple executives, disclose the exact thinking behind how Apple approached Kindle on iOS. The...

Battery Likely for Upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 Filed in Certification Listings

Saturday August 1, 2020 5:46 am PDT by
A battery likely for the upcoming Apple Watch Series 6 has been filed at the Korea Testing and Research Institute and discovered by a Twitter user @yabhishekhd. Certification for a 1.17Wh battery with a capacity of 303.8mAh was issued on June 23 by the KTR, a Korean regulatory body that approves and tests new hardware ahead of public sale. The battery seems to be destined for a future...

Apple Marks Return of NHL With New 'Hockey Tape' Ad Shot on iPhone 11 Pro

Saturday August 1, 2020 2:33 am PDT by
Apple today marked the return of NHL hockey with a new "Shot on iPhone" ad on its YouTube channel in Canada. Titled "Hockey Tape," the 30-second video features Vegas Golden Knights players Marc-André Fleury and Mark Stone having some on-ice fun with the iPhone 11 Pro, which they attach to the boards, a hockey stick, and a skate with hockey tape. "See the game like never before with Ultra ...

Apple Launches New Gift Card for 'Everything Apple'

Friday July 31, 2020 3:45 am PDT by
Apple has introduced a new single gift card in the U.S. for all things Apple. First spotted by iCulture, the card can be used at the App Store and other online services, but you can also use it to buy products and accessories in the Apple Store. Previously, there were two separate Apple gift cards available: iTunes cards, which can be used for App Store, iTunes Store, and iCloud storage...

Leaker Jon Prosser Claims iPhone 12 and New iPads Will Launch in October

Wednesday July 29, 2020 4:15 pm PDT by
Leaker Jon Prosser, who has a somewhat mixed track record when it comes to predicting Apple's plans, today said that new iPhone 12 models and new iPads will launch in October. Multiple rumors have suggested that some or all of the iPhone 12 models coming this year will see a later than normal launch. Apple typically unveils and releases new iPhones in the month of September, but problems...