Apple Shares Latest Transparency Report Outlining Government Data Requests From July 1 to December 31, 2017

Apple LogoApple today released its latest transparency report outlining government data requests for the second half of 2017, covering the dates between July 1 and December 31 [PDF].

Apple's transparency reports are designed to provide customers with information on how many data-related requests it has received from law enforcement officials both in the United States and globally.

In the United States, Apple received 4,450 requests for 15,168 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 3,548 cases). Worldwide, Apple received a total of 29,718 requests covering 309,362 devices and provided data 79 percent of the time (in 23,445 cases).

Apple received a similar number of requests in the United States and worldwide from July to December 2016, but the number of devices included in the total number of requests has doubled. Last year, Apple received 30,184 total requests covering 151,105 devices and complied with 72 percent of those requests.

Data requests cover a wide range of circumstances, from instances where law enforcement agencies are working on behalf of customers who have asked for help locating lost or stolen devices to issues with credit card fraud to criminal investigations.

In the United States, requests Apple receives can include subpoenas, court orders, search warrants, pen register/trap and trace orders, or wiretap orders.

While Apple attempts to be as transparent as possible in these reports, the government does not allow the company to release specific details on the number of National Security requests received, instead requiring a number range to be provided to customers. Apple uses the narrowest range permissible by law.

In the latest report, Apple says it received between 16,000 and 16,249 National Security Orders and provided data for 8,000 to 8,249 accounts. Apple did not report any declassified National Security letters. The number of National Security Orders Apple receives continues to grow and has more than doubled since the July-December 2016 report. Apple received a similar number of requests during the first half of 2017.

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In addition to the total number of device requests and National Security Orders, Apple also shares information on a range of other categories like financial identifier requests, government account requests, account preservation requests, emergency requests, and more, all of which can be viewed directly in the transparency report.

Apple says that starting with its next report covering the second half of 2018, it will include details on when a government asks for an app to be removed from the App Store.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Top Rated Comments

WoodpeckerBaby Avatar
33 months ago
It's time for Apple to adopt end-to-end encryption for iCould data now. That's the last bit of data they retain.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
laz232 Avatar
33 months ago

I’ll try to contain my frustration with this view and politely ask: why oh why would you ever be ok with an ever overreaching entity that has the power to ruin your life or lock you up on a whim with little oversight having access to your personal data over a company that simply wants to sell you things? How does that even compare?

Thank you for stating this -"with an ever overreaching entity that has the power to ruin your life or lock you up on a whim with little oversight" THIS is what is important.

Reading Political Order and Political Decay - F Fukuyama. For a society to flourish requires both the availability of legal recourse and accountability of the government to the public. Government secrecy via NSL and other Patriot Act provisions etc remove these fundamental principles.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MacBH928 Avatar
33 months ago

This will probably be the unpopular opinion here, but I’m not bothered by government data requests, even if it’s at an increasing rate. If it keeps citizens and the general public safe, then I’m fine with that.

I’m more okay with this than, say, all these private companies like FB and Google vacuuming up your personal data and then obfuscating and deflecting on the details of how your personal data is used, sold, interpreted, etc. At least attitudes toward that are changing.

Your problem is that you think this data will only be accessed by the gov. when something to do with a serious crime rises up. All these companies, including the all the gov. they operate under, including a lot of the employees of this company, not to mention data breaches and hackers can get your info and use it in any way they want including blackmailing you.

Remember when celebrity photos leaked? yeah that kind of thing.

A guy once said, if you have nothing to hide then give me all your accounts and email addresses with their passwords and give it to me and no body ever did.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
centauratlas Avatar
33 months ago

I suppose in that case of crappy legislation, I can understand Tim's desires to get so political these days

The problem is that Tim’s favored political group is the one most in favor of government power. If he was involved for freedom instead of authoritarianism that would be one thing, but he’s all in favor of big government for everyone except Apple and taxes.

The big government-authoritarian/socialist/fascist/communist crowd awlays thinks they’ll be in the 0.00001% who are out of reach of the power, when they’ll in reality be in the 99% most impacted by the loss of liberty.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
scoobydoo99 Avatar
33 months ago
wow. over 16,000 "national security" requests? Police State run amok. The mouth breathers waving the flag and supporting the government will get what they deserve in the end. Too bad the rest of civilization will have to suffer as well.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
miniyou64 Avatar
33 months ago

This will probably be the unpopular opinion here, but I’m not bothered by government data requests, even if it’s at an increasing rate. If it keeps citizens and the general public safe, then I’m fine with that.

I’m more okay with this than, say, all these private companies like FB and Google vacuuming up your personal data and then obfuscating and deflecting on the details of how your personal data is used, sold, interpreted, etc. At least attitudes toward that are changing.

I’ll try to contain my frustration with this view and politely ask: why oh why would you ever be ok with an ever overreaching entity that has the power to ruin your life or lock you up on a whim with little oversight having access to your personal data over a company that simply wants to sell you things? How does that even compare?
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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