Apple releases data showing how often it complies with government data requests

Apple has published a Report on Government Information Requests covering how it handled demands for information from law enforcement agencies received during the second half of 2015. The company said the “vast majority” of those requests were for information about lost or stolen devices, about which Apple complied 80 percent of the time within the United States. Totals outside the U.S. fluctuated between 52 and 80 percent.
On the dicier topic of providing user data from iTunes or iCloud accounts to law enforcement, Apple complied with requests 82 percent of the time in the U.S., which was second only to China in the number of requests it made for information. The U.S. asked for information about 5,192 accounts to China’s 6,724. Compliance totals worldwide were much lower, with Apple giving up information on users only 43 percent of the time in Asia and only 50 percent of the time within Europe, India, the Middle East and Africa. In reporting “national security requests” received, Apple isn’t even allowed to disclose an exact figure under government regulations. For the period covered, the company received between 1,250 and 1,499 requests affecting between 1,000 and 1,249 accounts. The results of those requests were not disclosed. Three accounts were also deleted in keeping with court ordered requests, and Apple responded to a total of 178 “emergency requests,” which the company defines as situations where “Apple believes in good faith that an emergency involving imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person requires such disclosure without delay.”

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