Every semester, Apple launches a new transparency report detailing requests from governments around the world regarding user data, access to iCloud accounts and devices. Traditionally, this report was released using a static PDF document, but now Ma decided to improve things: in the most recent report, referring to the first semester (from January to June) of 2018, she launched a special interactive page on her website where data can be accessed or filtered much more easily.
On the page, users can check information separated by country, in addition to filtering data only from the most recent survey or taking into account previous orders. It is also possible to download a raw sample of the data in CSV format, very useful for researchers and academics who want to take a deeper look at the requirements and their geographic or temporal trends. The traditional PDF document is also available, for those who prefer.
Looking at the data itself from the most recent report, I see the growth in requests from governments around the world for data from iCloud users, devices and accounts. Between January and June this year, Apple received 32,342 such requests, in requests involving access to 163,823 devices in total, a 9% jump from the second half of 2017.
The champion of orders in the period was Germany, which issued 13,704 requests for 26,160 devices – most of which related to investigations of stolen devices. Second in the list are the U.S, with 4,570 orders for 14,911 devices.
In relation to orders related to iCloud accounts, we had 4,177 requests of this type in the world, a 25% jump over the last period. Apple attributes the trend to a massive fraud investigation that is taking place in China Beijing has apparently made far more requests for access to iCloud accounts to obtain data and evidence on the matter.
Talking about requests for US national security, the company claims to have received between 0 and 499 requests for this type of data, Apple cannot disclose exact numbers for security reasons. Between 1,000 and 1,499 accounts were affected by the orders.
On the page that focuses on data related to Brazil, we can see that the organs of our beloved republic made 407 requests involving 2,324 devices; 85% of orders were fulfilled by Apple. The Brazilian government also requested access to 2 financial identifiers and 980 iCloud accounts, in addition to 3 emergency requests, of which only 2 were answered.