The ‘Warrant Canary’ in Apple’s Transparency Report

Better late than never -- and maybe better than its competitors. That's the story behind Apple's first-ever transparency report revealing how many government requests it has received for data it collects on customers.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook rolled out their reports first, but some analysts are saying Apple takes it to another level. The reports started surfacing after the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance allegations pointed a finger at the technology giants in June.

Covering a period from Jan. 1 to June 30 of 2013, Apple's report does not reveal specific numbers for U.S. law enforcement request reports. But neither do its tech industry peers. Government regulations still won't allow it.

Apple's Revelation

"Like many companies, Apple receives requests from law enforcement agencies to provide customer information. As we have explained, any government agency demanding customer content from Apple must get a court order," the company said.

"When we receive such a demand, our legal team carefully reviews the order. If there is any question about the legitimacy or scope of the court order, we challenge it. Only when we are satisfied that the court order is valid and appropriate do we deliver the narrowest possible set of information responsive to the request."

Apple reports it received between 1,000 and 2,000 account information requests from law enforcement in the United States during the period. Most of the requests came from the United States. Germany made 93 requests, Spain made 102, and France made 71. Most other countries made far fewer.

Apple said the most common account requests involved robberies and other crimes or requests from law enforcement officers searching for missing persons, finding a kidnapping victim, or hoping to prevent suicide.

Apple Gets 'Warrant Canaries' Right

We asked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, for his thoughts on the report. He told us Apple is...

Comments are closed.

The ‘Warrant Canary’ in Apple’s Transparency Report

Better late than never -- and maybe better than its competitors. That's the story behind Apple's first-ever transparency report revealing how many government requests it has received for data it collects on customers.

Microsoft, Yahoo, Google and Facebook rolled out their reports first, but some analysts are saying Apple takes it to another level. The reports started surfacing after the National Security Agency (NSA) surveillance allegations pointed a finger at the technology giants in June.

Covering a period from Jan. 1 to June 30 of 2013, Apple's report does not reveal specific numbers for U.S. law enforcement request reports. But neither do its tech industry peers. Government regulations still won't allow it.

Apple's Revelation

"Like many companies, Apple receives requests from law enforcement agencies to provide customer information. As we have explained, any government agency demanding customer content from Apple must get a court order," the company said.

"When we receive such a demand, our legal team carefully reviews the order. If there is any question about the legitimacy or scope of the court order, we challenge it. Only when we are satisfied that the court order is valid and appropriate do we deliver the narrowest possible set of information responsive to the request."

Apple reports it received between 1,000 and 2,000 account information requests from law enforcement in the United States during the period. Most of the requests came from the United States. Germany made 93 requests, Spain made 102, and France made 71. Most other countries made far fewer.

Apple said the most common account requests involved robberies and other crimes or requests from law enforcement officers searching for missing persons, finding a kidnapping victim, or hoping to prevent suicide.

Apple Gets 'Warrant Canaries' Right

We asked Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group, for his thoughts on the report. He told us Apple is...

Comments are closed.