In past years, Apple released bi-annual “transparency reports” to detail the personal data requests it has received from governments around the world. Today, the company has upped the ante with an upgraded Transparency Report section of its Privacy mini-site (via TechCrunch), clearly separating key request statistics for dozens of countries while offering individual report links for each of them.
At a glance, the new Transparency Report enables users to see how many requests a government has made across four categories: “Device,” “Account,” “Financial Identifier,” and “Emergency.” Device is generally used by law enforcement officials to help locate lost or stolen devices; Account seeks a user’s basic account information or content; Financial Identifier is for suspected fraudulent credit, debit, or gift card transactions; and Emergency is for situations involving imminent danger to a person.
The individual country reports go into considerable detail regarding requests, with the United States of America entry discussing everything from specific types of legal process to general notes on the nature of government inquiries. Yearly and biannual historical details are also included.
Not surprisingly, the trends over time show an increased number of requests, as well as a generally increased number of cases in which Apple has provided the data requested. As of the last reporting period, Apple provided data for 3,185 cases — 80 percent of the requested number — up from 2,182 in the comparable year-ago period. You can see the details for your own country here.