Like other large companies, Apple publishes regular disclosure reports revealing requests from law enforcement agencies for device or account information. In the first six months of this year, Apple received a total of 1252 requests in Australia, and handed over the information more than half the time.
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Here’s how the data broke down for Australia, according to Apple’s official report. Requests fall into two categories: information about specific Apple ID accounts, and information about individual devices. Because device investigations may involve large groups of stolen phones, the number of devices involved is rather higher for than the number of requests.
|Account requests from law enforcement||74|
|Individual accounts sought||75|
|Accounts for which data was disclosed||41|
|Account requests where Apple objected||22|
|Accounts for which non-content data was disclosed||34|
|Accounts for which no data was disclosed||40|
|Percentage of accounts where some data was dislcosed||54%|
|Device information requests from law enforcement||1178|
|Number of devices specified||1929|
|Devices where some data was provided||695|
|Percentage of devices where some data was dislcosed||59%|
It’s hard to directly compare Apple’s numbers to similar figures from Google or Microsoft, but they don’t seem especially unusual. Bear in mind that these requests are the result of specific law enforcement activity, often backed by a court order; it’s not simply a case of Apple offering the data up to any passing investigator.