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Apple handed users data to the Indian Government on request, owing to iTunes Gift Card fraud investigation

With tech giants like Facebook and Twitter that release bi-annually transparency reports, Apple keeping up with the global trends has launched a new transparency report website.

India TV Tech Desk India TV Tech Desk
New Delhi Published on: December 26, 2018 19:30 IST
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Image Source : PIXABAY/MATCUZ

Apple handed users data to the Indian Government on request, owing to iTunes Gift Card fraud investigation

Apple was asked by the Indian government to provide information in connection to the 27 devices and 18 accounts, during the period of January-June 2018, in most of the cases owing to an iTunes Gift Card fraud investigation.

Apple said in its bi-annual transparency report released on late Monday that the number of requests from India-in various formats such as court orders, subpoenas, warrants or other valid legal requests, which also included 34 financial identifiers and three emergency requests.

In context to the device requests, Apple had provided data to the Indian government in 63 per cent of cases and 85 per cent in the cases related to financial identifiers.

"The high number of financial identifiers were specified in requests predominantly due to an iTunes Gift Card fraud investigation," said Apple.

"One request may contain one or multiple identifiers. We count the number of identifiers identified in each request and report the total number of identifiers by type (Device, Financial Identifier, Account)," the company added.

For account requests, Apple gave data in 78 per cent of cases and for all the three emergency requests.

During the time of July-December 2017, Apple provided data in 14 out of 27 requests (52 per cent) to the Indian government.

With tech giants like Facebook and Twitter that release bi-annually transparency reports, Apple keeping up with the global trends has now launched a new transparency report website that makes it easier to scan data request from various governments.

The company globally received 32,342 demands from governments to access 1,63,823 devices, with 80 per cent of the requests granted.

In total, Apple approved more than 25,000 government requests to access customer data in the first half of 2018, which is almost nine per cent rise in demands in the July-December 2017 period.

"Apple is committed to your privacy and being transparent about government requests for customer data globally. This report provides information on government requests received," said the company.

Governments around the world had sent requests for device information on 29,718 Apple devices, out of which India asked for 27 device requests during the time of July-December 2017 period. Overall, the data was provided in 79 per cent of cases globally.

"Apple regularly receives multi-device requests related to fraud investigations. Device-based requests generally seek details of customers associated with devices or device connections to Apple services," said the Cupertino-based company.

Apple needs government and private entities to follow applicable laws and statutes when requesting customer information and data.

"We contractually require our service providers to abide by the same standard for any government information requests for Apple data. Our legal team reviews requests received to ensure that the requests have a valid legal basis," the company has said earlier.

"When we receive an account request seeking our customers' personal information, we notify the customer that we have received a request concerning their personal data except where we are explicitly prohibited by the legal process, by a court order Apple receives, or by applicable law," it added.

(With IANS inputs)

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