Taiwan requested Apple user data, company says

By Jason Pan  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Thu, Nov 07, 2013 - Page 1

Apple Inc received requests from Taipei for data on its customers’ accounts or devices, the US company said in its first-ever report on the information requests it has received from governments.

In its report, published on Tuesday in the US, Apple said the Taiwanese law enforcement bodies had sought information about four accounts and 81 devices in Taiwan from Jan. 1 to June 30.

The company said it provided information on one account and 10 devices to the government.

US law enforcement bodies topped the list in terms of numbers of requests, having asked Apple to provide data on between 1,000 and 2,000 accounts during the six-month period, the report said.

Apple complied with no more than 1,000 of the requests, it added.

British authorities asked for data on 127 accounts to rank second in the report, while Spain came in third with 102 requests. The top three were followed by Germany on 93, Australia with 74, France’s 71 requests and Italy with 60.

Following similar disclosures from other technology companies such as Microsoft Corp, Google Inc and Facebook Inc, Apple said that any government agency demanding customer content from it had to present a court order first.

“We believe that our customers have a right to understand how their personal information is handled and we consider it our responsibility to provide them with the best privacy protections available,” the technology giant said in the report.

“We have reported all the information we are legally allowed to share and Apple will continue to advocate for greater transparency about the requests we receive,” the California-based company said.