Apple Releases App Store Government Removal Requests

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| News

As part of its annual transparency reports, for the first time Apple has released data for App Store government removal requests from 2018. It also revealed copies of several National Security Letters (NSL).

App Store Requests

The requests are from governments around that world that want Apple to remove an app or apps that violate each country’s laws.

2018 government national security letters

National Security Letters

  • China mainland – The vast majority relate to illegal gambling or pornography.
  • Kuwait – Request related to investigation of apps with suspected violation of privacy law.
  • Lebanon – Request related to investigation of app with suspected violation of privacy law.
  • Netherlands – Requests related to illegal gambling app investigations.
  • Norway – Request related to illegal gambling app investigations.
  • Russia – Requests predominantly related to illegal gambling app investigations.
  • Saudi Arabia – Request related to investigation of apps with suspected violation of privacy law.
  • Switzerland – Request related to illegal gambling app investigations.
  • Turkey – Requests related to investigation of illegal app content, including breach of copyright and suspected violation of local transportation law.
  • Vietnam – Requests predominantly related to illegal gambling app investigations and unlicensed gaming apps investigations.

In the future—around mid-2020—Apple said it will include appeals it receives in response to government removal requests for localized app stores.

In total, Apple received 29,183 government requests to access 213,737 devices for the second half of 2018. This is a 10% decrease from the previous reporting period. Germany came in first place with 12,343 requests for 19,380 devices. Apple said most of these were police investigating stolen devices. In second place, the United States made 4,680 requests for 19,318 devices. Apple also received 4,875 requests for account data, like content stored in iCloud. This is a 16% increase from the previous reporting period. 22,503 accounts were affected.

Further Reading:

[ProtonMail Complied With 336 Government Requests in 2018]

[Apple to Begin Reporting Government App Store Removal Requests]

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