iphone user

Apple has issued a public report this afternoon entitled ‘Report on Government Information Requests.’ The piece details the number and types of requests it receives from governments around the world for user and device information.

The company said it considers it a responsibility to provide its users with “the best privacy protections available,” and that it has published the report “in the interest of transparency for our customers around the world.” More after the fold…

From the report, which can be found in PDF form on Apple’s website:

“We believe that our customers have a right to understand how their personal information is handled, and we consider it our responsibility to provide them with the best privacy protections available. Apple has prepared this report on the requests we receive from governments seeking information about individual users or devices in the interest of transparency for our customers around the world. This report provides statistics on requests related to customer accounts as well as those related to specific devices. We have reported all the information we are legally allowed to share, and Apple will continue to advocate for greater transparency about the requests we receive.”

Apple goes on to reiterate that its business does not depend on collecting personal data (perhaps a stab at Google?), and that it has no interest in it. It also reiterates that it doesn’t store location data, Maps searches, or Siri requests in any identifiable form.

Unfortunately, the US government won’t allow Apple, or any other company for that matter, to disclose much about the requests it received, except it broad strokes. But Apple strongly disagrees with this policy, and is fighting to change it.

This table shows account information requests (in increments of 1000):

user requests

And this table shows device information requests:

device requests

Privacy has become a hot-button issue in the tech world following the revelation this summer of the NSA’s PRISM program. According to reports, 9 major tech companies, including Apple, have given the agency unrestricted access to user info.

Apple has denied any knowledge of such a program, and maintains that it only offers government agencies access to user data when a proper subpoena, court order, or warrant is supplied.

What do you make of all of this? Smart move or tacky PR stunt?

  • Frosh

    This PR Stunt was ochestrated by the NSA in order to help restore Apple’s reputation following PRISM. It’s beneficial for the NSA to make sure that the public has faith in their commercial whores that they have on a leash.

    • Rowan09

      It is a PR stunt but the NSA didn’t hurt Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, etc at all. Only nonrealistic people believe the government doesn’t spy on us, since 9-11 they past the Patriot Act to get a legal reason to spy. We the people allowed this to happen and we are all to be blamed.

    • nick

      This has got to be the most uneducated reply to an article on this site I have seen. Apple has continuously been saying that they would like to release this information but cannot due to government regulations.

      Thus they provided as much information as they legally can and you call it a PR stunt? Get real.

      • Matthew Irwin

        You’re an uneducated poopy brain. The truth is that this doesn’t serve very much other than for Apple to show its shiny white teeth. I would be very hard-pressed to believe that Apple was acting out of philanthropy. That’s just how big businesses work. Now whether they were prompted by the NSA or not, that’s anyone’s guess. Poop face

      • Jo

        Uneducated poopy brain? Are we still in grade 4?

      • nick

        Or it shows that they are a corporation who have there customers interests at the top of their priorities.

        I am not going to dive into this any further as your choice of language leads me to believe you are just a troll seeking attention. Have a nice day.

      • Hyr3m

        Who’s to say this information is accurate ?

        They have lied to you before so why wouldn’t they be lying now ?

        I guess if you just caught your wife cheating and she said “It’s the first time I’ve ever done this, he means nothing to me, I swear to you, oh baby please forgive me”, you’d believe her without a second thought ?

  • Ted Forbes

    If they want what I have they can have it. If they want it they will get it anyway, so here take it.

    You know what, they probably would careless about people who don’t care and are most likely to trouble the people who are so troubled over this crap.

    • Guest

      You’re a perfect stereotype of sheep.

      • Ted Forbes

        Hey person is this sheep really you? Like I say if they want my data and if you want it you can have it. But sheep don’t need data . Stop it, your not really sheep are you? Nuff said Ok?

    • Falk M.

      I find your unintentional typo to be hilariously accurate in a symbolic way:
      “careless”

    • Ted Forbes

      OK, sheep person let me give you a better answer but first my intelligent advice:
      When you attempt to insult someone, first be sure to contribute your argument to the article or to the points. The effort to do that proves that you would find time to waste on anger, throwing tantrum and being kiddie rude. There is just to much to say and to little time to say it.

      Understand this if you can:
      When all or most power figures those with the greatest influences assemble to one side of the issue there is no power on earth to stop them…

      The only way they can be stopped is by the embarrassment of there failures. Remember Vietnam, remember the Iraq war and more and more protest and stenching and stenching (that was good but it didn’t stop them). What stopped them was the embarrassment of their failure that plagues them even today.

      You see the government or whoever don’t want my information because they like me, no there are always hidden motives, always.

      So I give them my data (i am not asking you or anyone else to give them data). Eventually the motive used as unintended will elude them.
      Everyone can not do the same thing, everyone can not do what I do and should not, but this is what do. You do different and I have no problem with what you want to do. So be nice if you can and don’t worry about or people like me, there is just to much to do.

      LOL!!!!

  • mav3rick

    Don’t bet that once disabled on your device it will be actually deleted from servers…

    • Jo

      Maybe I took it off before the NSA takes a look at it. I don’t know maybe it is deleted from the servers.