Apple Shares Government App Store Takedown Requests in Latest Transparency Report

Apple today released its newest transparency report, which outlines the government data requests that the company received during the second half of 2018. The PDF can be read in its entirety on Apple's website for full details, but there are a few notable highlights worth pulling out.

As TechCrunch points out, the newest report includes a section covering the number requests its received from governments asking to have an app removed from the App Store.


Apple received a total of 80 requests from 11 countries to remove 634 apps from various App Stores in different countries. While Apple did not provide specific details on which apps it was asked to pull, requests from China made up the bulk of total takedown requests.

China asked Apple to remove 626 apps, and Apple ultimately pulled 526 of those. Apple also pulled a smaller number of apps at the request of Vietnam, Austria, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Norway, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, and Turkey.

According to Apple, the vast majority of the apps pulled in China related to either illegal gambling or pornography. Other reasons apps were pulled in various countries include violations of privacy law, pornography, unlicensed gaming, copyright infringement, and violations of local transportation law.

Apple in the second half of 2019 received 29,183 worldwide government requests for data from 213,737 devices and provided data in 22,691 of cases (78 percent). Apple says that in the U.S., the high number of devices specified in requests for data were due to stolen device and fraud investigations. Apple has similar notices for Germany, Poland, Russia, and South Korea.

There were also a higher number of government financial identifier requests in Canada, Germany, Spain, and the U.S. due to iTunes gift card and credit card fraud investigations.

In the United States, Apple received between 3 and 499 National Security Letters (Apple is required to report a range) for between 1,505 and 1,999 accounts.

Three of the National Security Letters received are no longer subject to non-disclosure orders and have been published by Apple for the first time. Apple also published two other NSLs that were issued earlier in 2018 and in 2015. National Security Letters are issued by the FBI and Apple is forbidden from disclosing them for a set period of time.


Apple says that in its next report, it plans to begin reporting on appeals received pursuant to government requests to remove apps from the App Store. The full transparency report is available from Apple's website for those interested, along with breakdowns by country.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


This article, "Apple Shares Government App Store Takedown Requests in Latest Transparency Report" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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Apple Shares Revamped Transparency Report Website With Easier-to-Parse Data

Apple today released its latest transparency report, outlining government data requests that it received from January to June 2018.

Apple's latest report has been shared on a totally overhauled transparency website that also features past reports in a more visually digestible format, making it much easier to go through the data.


Apple's previous reports were delivered via PDF and could be difficult to parse, but the new site features a country-by-country breakdown with further details split into different request categories.

A provided slider lets you scroll through each country, while a date range dropdown lets you select either the most recent report or past reports. Collapsible categories offer up at a glance information on data like total device requests, emergency requests, requests for account deletion, FISA requests, and more.

Apple is now providing data on national security requests in bands of 500 instead of 250, in an effort to standardize its reporting with other tech companies, according to TechCrunch. FISA content is being broken down further into categories like photos, emails, contacts, and device backups.

PDFs of Apple's transparency reports continue to be available for those who prefer that format, and Apple has made CSV files available for download for those who want an even deeper look into the data.

Based on Apple's latest report, device data requests are on the rise around the world. Apple received a total of 32,342 requests covering 163,823 devices, providing data for 25,829 of the requests, an 80 percent data delivery rate.

In the United States, Apple received 4,570 requests for device data and responded to 3,697, providing data for a total of 81 percent of requests. Apple also received requests for financial identifiers, accounts, and emergencies, with the company's response rate listed in the chart below.


Germany made the most requests of Apple due to stolen device investigations, which is explained in a new "Matters of Note" section at the bottom of each category breakdown. Account requests were up in China and the United States, for example, due to a fraud investigations.

Apple received between 0 and 499 national security orders impacting between 1,000 and 1,499 accounts. Apple did not reveal any national security letters with lifted gag orders, which are reported on a six-month delay.

The full details of Apple's latest transparency report can be found on the company's transparency website.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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Apple’s Latest Transparency Report Shows Jump in National Security Requests

Apple this week released its latest transparency report [PDF] outlining government data requests received from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.

In the United States, Apple received 4,479 requests for 8,958 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 3,565 cases). Worldwide, Apple received 30,814 requests for data from 233,052 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 23,856 cases).

Overall demands for data were slightly down compared to requests during the same time period last year, but Apple disclosed a much higher number of national security requests that include orders received under FISA and National Security Letters. According to Apple, to date, it has not received any orders for bulk data.

Apple says it received 13,250 - 13,499 National Security Orders affecting 9,000 to 9,249 accounts. That’s up from 2,750 - 2,999 orders affecting 2,000 to 2,249 accounts received during the first half of 2016.


Though Apple attempts to be as transparent as possible in its reports, the government does not allow the company to release specific details when it comes to the number of National Security requests received, instead requiring a number range to be provided to customers. Apple uses the narrowest range permissible by law.

Apple lately has been making more of an effort to be clearer about the type of information governments around the world have asked for, and its last two reports, this one included, have been highly detailed.

Along with the total number of device requests and National Security Orders, Apple also provides data on a range of categories covering government requests for emergencies such as missing children, requests related to stolen devices, fraud requests, account deletion/restriction requests, civil non-government cases and account preservation requests, all of which can be viewed directly in the report.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.


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