1.Apple Had A Huge Number Of Requests
The L.A. Times reported that the company received 4,000 to 5,000 requests in a six month span. For the sake of transparency, the iPad creator’s blog said that 9,000 to 10,000 of these involved obtaining information from customer accounts or devices. This was an attempt to protect their reputation with the NSA’s PRISM program.
2.Most Requests Came From The Police
The company remained vague about the involvement of the NSA in these requests but indicated that most of the information was given to police. Apple added that law enforcement required this data when searching for robbery perpetrators, preventing possible suicides, seeking missing children etc. The firm stressed that the information would be given to federal, local and state authorities but refused to acknowledge inconsistent or inaccurate requests.
3.Apple Respects Customers And Denies PRISM Involvement
A spokesperson for the firm told The Washington Post that they had never heard of the program and claims that the government must have a court order to gain direct access. Specific forms of data the company denies giving includes conversations held over Facetime as well as location-related info such as Siri requests or map guides since the storage can be traced back to an individual. Apple is among other firms who have denied their involvement while the statement they released claims they value customer privacy.
4.Rivals Release Similar Information
Apple is not the only tech giant involved in this. Over the same six month period, social media giant Facebook disclosed that they had 18,000 accounts affected in regards to legal orders. General Counsel Ted Ullyot released a statement emphasizing their commitment to closely scrutinizing every government request they receive for the sake of customer well being. Microsoft disclosed they gained 6,000 to 7,000 requests which affected 31,000 to 32,000 over the same period. Google has yet to provide their analysis but plans on being more detailed than the competitors.
5.The Companies Value And Rely On Privacy
While the firms have denied involvement, producing these reports on data mining will strengthen their need for customer privacy. Obviously, this would enrage many customers despite the responsibility to divulge this information when it is necessary. The infamous whisteblower who started it all has said he’s not finished. Apple customers should not be scared that “big brother is watching”. This information is important but consumers should feel safe unless they robbed a bank.
The Guardian hosted a live Q&A with Edward Snowden. In it he fielded questions on China, the NSA listening to phone calls, and spying on popular websites.Click here to read more