Apple: Feds Made 5K Data Requests Since December

Plus: China urges US to open up on surveillance

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 17, 2013 7:14 AM CDT | Updated Jun 17, 2013 7:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – After revelations from Facebook and Microsoft, Apple is offering the public some details on government information requests. The US made between 4,000 and 5,000 requests to Apple for user data from December through May, the firm says; the requests were tied to between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts. Requests most frequently related to fighting crime, searches for missing kids, efforts to find Alzheimer's patients, and suicide prevention, the company said in a statement, per Reuters. "Our legal team conducts an evaluation of each request and, only if appropriate, we retrieve and deliver the narrowest possible set of information to the authorities."

"We don't collect or maintain a mountain of personal details about our customers in the first place," the statement added. What's more, it said, FaceTime and iMessage conversations "are protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them," not even Apple; nor are Siri requests stored "in any identifiable form," the company said, via the Guardian. Meanwhile, it must be bad because China is calling on the US to explain itself, Reuters reports: "We believe the United States should pay attention to the international community's concerns and demands and give the international community the necessary explanation," says a Chinese official.

A man smokes near the logo of Apple in Shanghai, China, Tuesday, April 2, 2013.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
This Oct. 4, 2011 file photo, shows the Apple logo during an announcement at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
In this photo taken March 7, 2012, the Apple logo is projected during an announcement in San Francisco.   (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma)
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