Apple Shares Government App Store Takedown Requests in Latest Transparency Report

Apple today released its newest transparency report, which outlines the government data requests that the company received during the second half of 2018. The PDF can be read in its entirety on Apple's website for full details, but there are a few notable highlights worth pulling out.

As TechCrunch points out, the newest report includes a section covering the number requests its received from governments asking to have an app removed from the App Store.

appleappremovalrequests
Apple received a total of 80 requests from 11 countries to remove 634 apps from various App Stores in different countries. While Apple did not provide specific details on which apps it was asked to pull, requests from China made up the bulk of total takedown requests.

China asked Apple to remove 626 apps, and Apple ultimately pulled 526 of those. Apple also pulled a smaller number of apps at the request of Vietnam, Austria, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Turkey.

According to Apple, the vast majority of the apps pulled in China related to either illegal gambling or pornography. Other reasons apps were pulled in various countries include violations of privacy law, pornography, unlicensed gaming, copyright infringement, and violations of local transportation law.

Apple in the second half of 2019 received 29,183 worldwide government requests for data from 213,737 devices and provided data in 22,691 of cases (78 percent). Apple says that in the U.S., the high number of devices specified in requests for data were due to stolen device and fraud investigations. Apple has similar notices for Germany, Poland, Russia, and South Korea.

There were also a higher number of government financial identifier requests in Canada, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. due to iTunes gift card and credit card fraud investigations.

In the United States, Apple received between 3 and 499 National Security Letters (Apple is required to report a range) for between 1,505 and 1,999 accounts.

Three of the National Security Letters received are no longer subject to non-disclosure orders and have been published by Apple for the first time. Apple also published two other NSLs that were issued earlier in 2018 and in 2015. National Security Letters are issued by the FBI and Apple is forbidden from disclosing them for a set period of time.

applensls
Apple says that in its next report, it plans to begin reporting on appeals received pursuant to government requests to remove apps from the ‌App Store‌. The full transparency report is available from Apple's website for those interested, along with breakdowns by country.

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

JetTester Avatar
22 months ago
Someone read the non disclosures and report back
"I'm not gonna read 'em, YOU read 'em."
"No, I'm not gonna read 'em, YOU read 'em."
"I know, let's get Mikey, he'll read anything."
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ErikGrim Avatar
22 months ago
Year ago requested Apple to remove an app ('https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/deen-e-islam/id1079308257') teaching/writing that women are subordinate to men everywhere, that a man can beat his disobedient wife, that "No wife can become lovable unless she fulfils the rights of her husband and keeps him pleased.", etc.

Didn't even get a response and app ('https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/deen-e-islam/id1079308257') is still there.

Apple approves this message it seems.
Appaling! Apple also seemingly approves hundreds of apps conveying these kind of messages:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour."
Ephesians 5: 22-23

"Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain silent."
1 Timothy 2: 11-12

I'll be sure to report them all as I am sure you will.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
rlhamil Avatar
22 months ago
Year ago requested Apple to remove an app ('https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/deen-e-islam/id1079308257') teaching/writing that women are subordinate to men everywhere, that a man can beat his disobedient wife, that "No wife can become lovable unless she fulfils the rights of her husband and keeps him pleased.", etc.

Didn't even get a response and app ('https://apps.apple.com/gb/app/deen-e-islam/id1079308257') is still there.

Apple approves this message it seems.
Failure to remove something doesn't constitute endorsement or approval of all aspects of content. They probably even say as much somewhere. I find at least some such statements appalling too, but there are parts of the world where even the women would agree (or else would be afraid to publicly disagree) with such statements.

Censorship sucks. Even censorship that would be really easy to sympathize with. Take some polarizing issue, where you have a strong position on one side or the other: you wouldn't want to be censored, so you shouldn't want those on the other side censored either, even if they're obviously evil.
[doublepost=1562134183][/doublepost]
China always seems to be the 'bulk' of just about any info.

Hmm. They have the largest population of any country, not much due process, and vast surveillance and "the Great Firewall" of their own. Not to mention are willing to take reprisals for mere speech or expression. Of course they'll ask for a lot. The price of doing business there is to obey their laws where their citizens are concerned. Maybe the price is too high, you'd have to persuade the shareholders. Good luck!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Bokito Avatar
22 months ago
The FISA-reports have a 6 month delay so I checked them for the first half of 2018 and the stats are quite shocking. Apple had to give up at least dozens of requests for each FISA order. That looks like (illegal) mass surveillance.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Kabeyun Avatar
22 months ago
Appaling! Apple also seemingly approves hundreds of apps conveying these kind of messages:

"Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Saviour."
Ephesians 5: 22-23

"Let a woman learn in silence with all submissiveness I permit no woman to teach or have authority over a man; rather, she is to remain silent."
1 Timothy 2: 11-12

I'll be sure to report them all as I am sure you will.
Hah! Well done.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
69Mustang Avatar
22 months ago
I skimmed the latest report (last 6 months). China, Singapore, EU and lots from the USA. Compliance rate from Apple seems to average about 60%.
From the article:
Apple in the second half of 2019 received 29,183 worldwide government requests for data from 213,737 devices and provided data in 22,691 of cases (78 percent).
Apple has typically provided data at an ~80% rate.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

imac pro featured black

Apple Confirms iMac Pro Will Be Discontinued When Supplies Run Out, Recommends 27-Inch iMac

Saturday March 6, 2021 7:33 am PST by
Apple on late Friday evening added a "while supplies last" notice to its iMac Pro product page worldwide, and removed all upgrade options for the computer, leaving only the standard configuration available to order for now. We've since confirmed with Apple that when supplies run out, the iMac Pro will no longer be available whatsoever. Apple says the latest 27-inch iMac introduced in August...
bloodoxygenapplewatch

Apple Watch Series 7 to Gain Breakthrough New Health Feature

Friday March 5, 2021 5:34 am PST by
Apple is reportedly planning to bring a new, first-of-its-kind health technology to the Apple Watch Series 7, in what could be a breakthrough for managing conditions such as diabetes more easily. According to a recent report from ETNews, the Apple Watch Series 7 will feature blood glucose monitoring via a non-invasive optical sensor. Measuring blood glucose levels, also known as blood...
Top Stories 48

Top Stories: iPhone 13 Leaks, OLED iPads and Macs, New AirTags Evidence

Saturday March 6, 2021 6:00 am PST by
iPhone rumors are heating up, with noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo this week releasing a wide-ranging report outlining his expectations for the iPhone lineup over the next three years. This week also saw rumors about OLED displays potentially coming to iPad and Mac starting next year, increasing signs of AirTags functionality in iOS 14.5 betas, and more, so check out all of the details below! i...
apple products refurbished store banner

Class Action Lawsuit Over Apple Providing Refurbished Replacement Devices Proceeding to Trial in August

Friday March 5, 2021 9:53 am PST by
Initially filed in 2016, a class action lawsuit that accuses Apple of violating the Magnusson-Moss Warranty Act, Song-Beverly Consumer Warranty Act, and other U.S. laws by providing customers with refurbished replacement devices is set to proceed to trial August 16, according to a notice this week from law firm Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP. Apple's repair terms and conditions state that,...
Oled iPads and MackBook Pro

OLED 10.9-Inch iPad Rumored for Early 2022, 12.9-Inch iPad Pro and 16-Inch MacBook Pro Could Follow

Thursday March 4, 2021 8:37 pm PST by
Earlier today, DigiTimes shared a preview of an upcoming report claiming that Apple is working on both iPad and Mac notebook models with OLED displays that could launch starting in 2022. The full report from DigiTimes is now available, and it includes several new alleged details about Apple's plans. According to the report, the first of these devices to adopt an OLED display is likely to be...
iPhone 13 Notch Feature2

iPhone 13 Rumor Recap: Smaller Notch, Larger Batteries, 120Hz for Pro Models, Improved 5G, Wi-Fi 6E, and More

Friday March 5, 2021 8:20 am PST by
While we are likely at least six months away from Apple unveiling the so-called iPhone 13 lineup, rumors about the devices are starting to accumulate, so we've put together this recap of everything that is expected so far. The upcoming iPhone 13 lineup will consist of the same four models and the same screen sizes as the iPhone 12 lineup, according to reputable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo,...
imac pro while supplies last

iMac Pro No Longer Custom Configurable, Available 'While Supplies Last'

Friday March 5, 2021 10:14 pm PST by
Apple appears to be on the verge of discontinuing the iMac Pro, with the store page for the high-end all-in-one Mac including a "While supplies last" tagline and only the base model with no custom configurations available for purchase. The iMac Pro launched in December 2017, and while there have been a few tweaks to the available configurations over the years, it has received no substantial...
hlh030121feafutureoffitness012 1614286673

A Look Inside Apple's 23,000 Square-Foot Fitness+ Studio

Friday March 5, 2021 10:59 am PST by
Apple Fitness+, the latest service to join the Apple family, integrates tightly with the Apple Watch to offer a comprehensive and growing selection of workout and exercise videos made by a team of professional trainers. Apple Fitness+ Studio (via Men's Health) Apple curates and records all of the videos at a location in Santa Monica, California, and each video features a similar background...
maxresdefault

What's on Your iPhone Home Screen?

Thursday March 4, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Over on our YouTube channel, MacRumors videographer Dan has a new video up where he shares his Home Screen, wallpaper, and all of his current favorite widgets. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Check out Dan's video to see his setup, and then comment below and show us your own Home Screens. It's always fun to see other peoples' Home Screens, and with widgets and...
microsoft edge vertical tabs

Microsoft Edge 89 Brings Vertical Tabs and New History View

Friday March 5, 2021 4:06 am PST by
Microsoft has officially released version 89 of its popular Chromium-based Edge browser, bringing its long-trialed vertical tabs feature to Mac for the first time. Vertical tabs are intended to make more efficient use of screen space, and should prove a welcome addition for users browsing on 16:9 ratio displays in particular. Users can click vertical tabs to switch between them and...