The Government of India asked Apple to provide information on 27 devices and 18 accounts between January 2018 and June 2018, and the company provided data to the government in most of the cases, according to the Apple transparency report released late Monday.
“High number of accounts specified in requests predominantly due to an iTunes Gift Card fraud investigation,” Apple says in the report.
The number of government demands also included 34 financial identifiers and three emergency requests.
Of the 27 device requests received, the Cupertino-headquartered company provided data to the Indian government in 63 per cent (17 requests) of the cases. Identifiers specified in the 27 requests were 379. Besides, Apple provided data in 85 per cent of the financial identifier requests, 78 per cent of the account requests, and all the three emergency requests.
Device requests generally pertain to information regarding customers associated with devices and device connections to Apple services. Giving an example, Apple says law enforcement investigations can seek information on behalf of customers regarding lost or stolen devices for example.
Financial identifier requests generally seek information regarding suspected fraudulent transactions.
As far as account requests are concerned, these usually seek information regarding customers’ Apple ID accounts, such as account holder name and address and account connections to Apple services. Apple says account requests may also seek customers’ content data, “such as photos, email, iOS device backups, contacts or calendars”.
The type of customer data sought in emergency situations generally relates to details of customers’ connection to Apple services.
The government requests can come in various formats such as subpoenas, court orders, warrants or other valid legal requests.
“One request may contain one or multiple identifiers. We count the number of identifiers identified in each request and report the total number of identifiers by type (Device, Financial Identifier, Account),” the company says in the report.
Apple released it latest transparency report on its website on Monday, which details data requests from various governments across the world.
The iPhone maker received 32,342 government requests from different countries to access 1,63,823 devices. It says 80 per cent of the requests were attended to.
In comparison to the July-December 2017 period, the requests saw an almost 9 per cent rise during the first half of 2018.
“Apple is committed to your privacy and being transparent about government requests for customer data globally. This report provides information on government requests received,” says the company.
Starting with the transparency report of July 1-December 31, 2018 period, Apple says, it will also report on government requests to take down apps from the App Store in instances related to alleged violations of legal and/or policy provisions.