Apple Says 'Yes' To Half The Legal Requests It Gets For User Data

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.


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