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Governments Getting More Data From Your iPhone

By William Vogeler, Esq. on December 26, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Governments are making nine percent more data requests from Apple this year, a total of 32,342 requests during the first six months of 2018.

In the United States, the federal government wanted information on 14,911 Apple devices during the reporting period. In most cases, officials were investigating extortion, phishing, and unauthorized access to accounts.

Around the world, governments requested information on 163,823 Apple devices. The company is giving it up about 80 percent of the time.

Device Information

Apple released the government activity in a transparency report. It is available on a new interactive website.

Germany made the most data requests to Apple, amounting to 42 percent of all requests worldwide. The United States came in second with about one third as many requests as Germany.

Mashable reported that Germany and South Korea made a high number of requests based on stolen devices. China, Mashable noted, made many requests for insurance fraud investigations.

In addition to requesting device information, governments made 25 percent more requests for account information. This included information such as a user's Apple ID or email address.

Account Information

Probing 16,416 accounts, the United States made the most requests for account information. But with only 33 requests, China sought information on 19,908 accounts.

With the new interactive report, Apple also changed how it reports national security requests. It is now more in line with procedures at Microsoft and Google.

Basically, the companies separate out national security requests for review. It means longer delays in reporting of overall national security requests, Reuters said.

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