Apple Gives Governments Increased Access to Phone Data

December 25, 2018

Apple’s Transparency Report reveals a 9 per cent rise in the number of demands for customer data in 2018.

Apple approved more than 25,000 government requests to access customer data in the first half of 2018, according to its own figures.

The iPhone maker’s latest Transparency Report reveals it received 32,342 demands from governments around the world to access 163,823 devices, with 80 per cent of the requests granted.

The latest figures represent a 9 per cent rise in the number of demands from the previous six-month reporting period, when 79 per cent of 23,477 requests were granted.

More than 42 per cent of all applications in the first half of this year came from German authorities – the government with the most requests.

Apple said in its report that the high volume of device requests from Germany was “predominantly due to stolen devices investigations”.

The United States also ranked highly, with 4,570 requests for 14,911 devices. The US also filed 918 financial identifier requests, which Apple said were “predominantly due to iTunes Gift Card and credit card fraud investigations”.

In the UK, Apple received 572 requests for 2,606 devices, of which 77 per cent were approved.

Apple is only able to reject a request if it is unclear, inappropriate or lacks a valid legal basis.

The firm consistently positions itself as the one technology giant that truly cares about people’s privacy, having previously criticised the likes of Facebook for exploiting customer data for profit.

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