Apple Is Providing User Data To The Indian Government

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Apple Is Providing User Data To The Indian Government

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Apple is the preferred choice for many consumers since privacy is something the company boasts of in their ecosystem. But Apple also abides by the rules and regulations of the respective countries it sells its phones to and according to their latest transparency report, they seem to be providing user’s data to the government. Transparency reports are reports that are published in regular intervals by tech giants such as Facebook and Twitter. These are available for customers to see and includes data such as Government requests, Account Restriction / Account Deletion and Account Preservation.

It must be noted that the government does not ask for every Apple user’s data and these requests go through a rigorous screening process. These include the government asking for information on a particular user through subpoenas, court orders, warrants etc. According to Apple, government and private entities are required to follow applicable laws and statutes when requesting customer information and data from Apple. The reports from January – June 2018 suggest that the total Device requests in that time period were 27. Out of that, 17 requests were granted by Apple which is a 63% request approval. Device requests include information of a particular device that a particular person is using such as IMEI or Serial Numbers.

Financial Identifier Requests

Requests on financial identifiers from the Indian government amounted to 34 in total. Out of that Apple granted information on 29 which is an 85% request approval. Financial Identifiers are requests received from a government agency seeking customer data such as credit card or gift card. This is in light of the iTunes gift card fraud that has been prevalent for a while now. Requests for Account details such as Apple ID and emails were also made by the Indian Government. These amounted to a total of 18 in the half-yearly period. Apple gave information on 14 of those requests.

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Apart from these, 3 emergency requests were also made by the government and Apple followed through on all of them. These requests are made when the government requires user’s data on an emergency matter. There were no Account restriction or deletion requests made in the 6 month time period by the government.


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Souradeep Roy
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