- Apple announced in a report Friday that it received a record-high 3,619 requests from the US government for users’ account details in the first half of 2019, up 36%from the previous six-month period.
- Apple stated it adhered to 90%of those requests, which usually asked for customers’ iTunes or iCloud account details and occasionally their iCloud information.
- Apple’s report comes amid its fight with the United States federal government over privacy, which was reignited today after it declined an FBI request to unlock a mass shooter’s iPhones.
- The report paints a stark contrast to the federal government’s efforts to paint Apple as unhelpful in assisting police’s’ examinations.
- See Organisation Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Apple launched its biannual openness report on Friday, which included information about the number and type of federal government and personal celebration requests for consumer information that the company received globally.
Apple said it received 3,619 “account demands” from the US government in the first half of 2019, almost a 36%dive from the 6 months prior and more than previous durations (the report is offered as far back as 2013).
Account requests, sent out when law enforcement officials suspect prohibited activity, generally look for “details of clients’ iTunes or iCloud accounts, such as a name and address” and sometimes, “iCloud content, such as saved pictures, e-mail, iOS gadget backups, contacts or calendars,” the company stated.
For 90%of those requests, Apple provided the federal government with a minimum of some details about the account in question, up from 88%throughout the previous period. Apple also stated the demands included more than 15,301 client accounts, another record high.
The report comes in the middle of a heated standoff between Apple and the Trump administration over personal privacy and public safety, which was reignited this week after the company refused to help the FBI unlock a mass shooter’s iPhones.
Trump’s chief law officer, William Barr, has repeatedly accused Apple and other tech companies of refraining from doing enough to help police in investigations. Particularly, Barr has expressed frustration with Apple’s hesitation to develop a “backdoor” that would permit officials to access encrypted details stored on consumers’ devices.
However, Apple’s openness report suggests that, overall, it has actually been extremely responsive to government requests for details. In this most current case, even some FBI authorities have reportedly taken Apple’s side, stating that Apple has actually supplied “sufficient help.”
Apple has defended its use of file encryption, stating in a declaration to Business Insider: “Police has access to more information than ever before in history, so Americans do not have to pick in between weakening file encryption and solving examinations. We feel strongly file encryption is crucial to protecting our nation and our users’ information.”
The dispute between Apple and the government has restored issues among personal privacy supporters that producing backdoors would weaken public security, while security professionals argue that the federal government already has the ability to gain access to encrypted devices without Apple’s aid.