Apple has released its first report detailing how many requests it has received from government agencies around the globe.
According to The New York Times, Apple has disclosed the number of requests it has received for the first six months of 2013. The report said that governments from 43 countries wanted information on 40,000 Apple accounts or devices.
“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,” said Apple. “Our business does not depend on collecting personal data. We have no interest in amassing personal information about our customers.”
According to Apple, the most common account requests related to crimes such as robberies and missing person cases. These requests resulted in giving only a name and address.
The “vast majority” of requests related to devices where customers had asked law enforcements to help find a lost or stolen iPhone. Apple received 3,542 device requests in the U.S. for 8,605 devices and Apple gave the information in part or in full 88 percent of the time.
Apple is clearly on board with helping improve transparency but the company did add that it protects personal conversations through end-to-end encryption over iMessage and FaceTime and that it does not store Siri requests, location data or Maps searches in an “identifiable form”.
“We feel strongly that the government should lift the gag order and permit companies to disclose complete and accurate numbers regarding FISA requests and National Security Letters,” Apple said in its report. “We will continue to aggressively pursue our ability to be more transparent.”
Apple is one of the last of the tech giants to release a transparency report, with Google, Facebook and Microsoft having already released them. These companies are still challenging the Department of Justice on its stance on restricting the disclosure of Federal Intelligence Surveillance Act court orders.