Apple Transparency Report: India Asked for Info on 27 Devices (Mostly Stolen)

Apple received 27 requests from the Indian government to disclose information relating to its customers in the first half of this year, according to the first transparency report released by the device maker. The number of requests are low in comparison to countries like Australia, Germany, Singapore, United States and UK where thousands of such requests were made in the same period.

Quite obviously, it has to do with Apple’s low market share in India.

In 41% of the cases, where a government agency requested for device information from Apple, the company provided “some data,” to the agency. The company said it did not receive any account information requests from the Indian government.

Apple clarified in the report:

Unlike many other companies dealing with requests for customer data from government agencies, Apple’s main business is not about collecting information. As a result, the vast majority of the requests we receive from law enforcement seek information about lost or stolen devices, and are logged as device requests.

Aple Transparency Report, H1, 2013
Aple Transparency Report, H1, 2013

After widespread criticizm of tech companies for allegedly providing back door entry to law enforcement agencies to access customer data, companies susch as Microsoft, Twitter, Facebook and others started publishing transparency reports on information requests received from the government.

In September, Microsoft said that the Indian government and law enforcement agencies made 321 requests to the company for customer details across 515 user accounts in the first 6 months of 2013.

Earlier, Twitter had said that the Indian government made less than 10 user information requests to it and that it did not disclose any data. Facebook, which published its first transparency report in August, received most number of requests from the United States followed by India. In 3245 requests, India asked for information on 4144 users or accounts on Facebook.

Google saw a 90% increase in content removal requests from the Indian government.

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