Apple report details compliance with requests for information from world governments – including Brazil

Apple's latest transparency report shows leap in government requests related to national security

Not even from public fights with the FBI over user privacy Apple lives. In fact, most requests for information made by world governments are answered by the company, as reported in a report released yesterday by Ma (PDF).

THE Report on Government Information Requests (Report on Government Information Requests), referring to the second semester of 2015, brings a series of interesting information. It is separated into five tables, each detailing a different type of request, and among the most impressive statistics is the fact that between 1,250 and 1,499 requests related to national security were made a number four times greater than that referring to the first half, when the number of such orders was up to 250 (Apple informs that, as much as it wants to be more precise, the numbers can only be disclosed in multiples of 250, explaining the lack of accuracy).

Going further, it is interesting to note that, of more than 30 thousand requests for information contained in Apple devices, 68% of them were answered by the company. This percentage varies completely by country, ranging from 0% in South Africa to 100% in Malaysia, for example. Both in Brazil and in the United States, this index was 80%.

Talking about Brazil, our idolized piece of land asked for information on 357 devices in the second half of last year, 55 times many of these requirements involve multiple devices. Of these 55 requests, 44 were fulfilled. In addition, the Brazilian government asked for information on 63 Apple user accounts, with 56 of them serving them. In 4 accounts, Ma objected and did not release any information.

To conclude, Apple notes in the document that, in all cases of request for information, it only examines the possibility of doing so after a warrant is issued. From then on, the company’s judicial team judges the legitimacy and scope of the request except in cases that involve imminent risk to the life or physical integrity of someone and, only after that, releases the least amount of information possible.

In a related note, Apple?s senior vice president and general counsel, Bruce Sewell, denied long-standing rumors based on the fact that Ma follows the «security procedures» necessary for selling products in China that the company is collaborating with the Chinese government in providing classified information. In response to Indiana State Police Chief Charles Cohen, who suggested that Apple was cooperating with Beijing, Sewell revealed that Chinese authorities had asked for the iOS source code several times in the past two years, but the company has denied absolutely all invested.

In times of privacy vs. security, that kind of clarification on the part of the big companies that hold data about our whole life more than a relief; crucial.

(via 9to5Mac, Patently Apple)