KAMPALA – World technology giant iPhone maker, Apple, released customer data to more than 25,000 requests from governments in the first half of 2018, new figures indicate.
Apple’s latest Transparency Report released in USA recently reveals the firm received 32,342 demands from governments across the world to access 163,823 devices. Almost 80% of these requests were granted.
Germany made the highest number of requests – 13,704; and 1,229 financial identifiers. According to the firm, the high volume of device requests from this European country was “predominantly due to stolen devices investigations”.
USA made 4,570 requests for 14,911 devices, as well as 918 financial identifier requests it attributed to fraud. In the UK, Apple received 572 requests for 2,606 devices.
Other high requests came from:
Australia with 2357
Hong Kong 567
New Zealand 315
South Africa 23
Only two countries in Africa feature in the report: South Africa which made 23 requests, and Mozambique which made only one request. It is not known whether other African countries made any requests but Apple’s report does not make mention of them. East Africa was not mentioned at all.
Revealing customer data is a very sensitive practice that can hurt business growth. But the report says: “Apple is committed to your privacy and being transparent about government requests for customer data globally.”
Although Apple continues to position itself as a company that cares about its users’ privacy, it is only able to reject a request if that request is unclear, inappropriate or lacks a valid legal basis.
Starting with the Transparency Report period July 1 – December 31, 2018, Apple will report on government requests to take down Apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions.
Founded in 1976 in USA, Apple is one of the largest multinational technological companies in the world.