Apple releases first transparency report

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Is the government after your iPhone? You’ll never know until they come knocking on your door, but at least nowo we have an idea as to how often police and security services contact Apple asking for information stored in iTunes, iCoud or on devices. The company joined Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Yahoo! yesterday by publishing its first list of how many requests have been made for data, where they’re from, and how many requests were fulfilled.

As the world wises up to who’s watching who and just how much data governments and security services have access to online, it’s becoming more common for tech companies to help customers understand what’s going in the world of law enforcement and national security by publishing these reports. Apple’s figures are specific about all countries apart from the US, where local law prevents revealing details.

The report, published in PDF format, covers the first six months of the year, and reveals that the Americans were the most inquisitive. They requested data about 2 000-3 000 accounts, and received information back about less than a thousand.

The Germans were turned down most often (proportionally speaking). Of 93 requests about accounts, only 6% were honoured upon by Apple. When it came to information about specific phones – which the report says is more common for law enforcement rather than national security, they were more successful. Information about 1 756 devices was released from the Apple archives to German requests, 86% of the total.

The full tables of requests are below.

apple transparency

Adam Oxford

Adam Oxford

Adam is the Editorial Director at htxt media. He has been writing about technology for almost two full decades now. In a previous life, he was the editor of PC Format and Digital Camera Shopper in the UK, before going on to work as a freelance journalist for seven years. His work has appeared in or on Stuff, The Guardian, Linux Format, TechRadar,, PC Gamer, Green Futures, The Journalist, The Ecologist and The Review. Adam moved to South Africa in 2012 and loves 3D printers, MakerFairs and tech hubs. He hates seafood. None of his friends remember this when cooking.