Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.


macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001

Apple this week released its latest transparency report [PDF] outlining government data requests received from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.

In the United States, Apple received 4,479 requests for 8,958 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 3,565 cases). Worldwide, Apple received 30,814 requests for data from 233,052 devices and provided data 80 percent of the time (in 23,856 cases).

Overall demands for data were slightly down compared to requests during the same time period last year, but Apple disclosed a much higher number of national security requests that include orders received under FISA and National Security Letters. According to Apple, to date, it has not received any orders for bulk data.

Apple says it received 13,250 - 13,499 National Security Orders affecting 9,000 to 9,249 accounts. That's up from 2,750 - 2,999 orders affecting 2,000 to 2,249 accounts received during the first half of 2016.


Though Apple attempts to be as transparent as possible in its reports, the government does not allow the company to release specific details when it comes to the number of National Security requests received, instead requiring a number range to be provided to customers. Apple uses the narrowest range permissible by law.

Apple lately has been making more of an effort to be clearer about the type of information governments around the world have asked for, and its last two reports, this one included, have been highly detailed.

Along with the total number of device requests and National Security Orders, Apple also provides data on a range of categories covering government requests for emergencies such as missing children, requests related to stolen devices, fraud requests, account deletion/restriction requests, civil non-government cases and account preservation requests, all of which can be viewed directly in the report.

Note: Due to the political nature of the discussion regarding this topic, the discussion thread is located in our Politics, Religion, Social Issues forum. All forum members and site visitors are welcome to read and follow the thread, but posting is limited to forum members with at least 100 posts.

Article Link: Apple's Latest Transparency Report Shows Jump in National Security Requests
  • Like
Reactions: wolfshades


macrumors 68040
Jun 30, 2007
Midwest USA
Thankfully, Apple is stepping up here.

Now lets all write congress and tell them how asinine it is for the government to prevent accurate report counts of such requests.

Remember the government claims that there is no privacy violation tracking metadata. These counts are simply metadata. So metadata publishing is bad for government, but perfectly OK for individuals and companies. Another case of the government not looking out for its citizens.


macrumors 604
Feb 4, 2004
Florida Resident
Well, maybe the iPhone X will help with investigations when you have the suspect in custody.
Edit: Actually touch ID will work just as good anyways in that situation too.


macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
Another way of putting it would be less than 1 in 100,000 users. (>1 billion iOS users / <10,000 accounts affected (suspected) by requests).

Or, twice the odds that someone could open your iPhone with a false match for TouchID (1 in 50,000 according to Apple recently).

Worth thinking about when politicians demand more and more access to our devices in terms of proportionality.
  • Like
Reactions: burgman and 5105973


Nov 25, 2005
and...Germany takes the cake.

"Device Requests make up the majority of requests that Apple receives. Most commonly they come from law enforcement agencies working on behalf of customers who have requested assistance locating lost or stolen devices."

In some countries, a device request will happen whenever a customer wants their insurance to pay for a stolen phone. To get any money, the case has to be reported to the police, which will automatically request information from Apple in the hope to find the phone.

So this is how (un)secure your data is
Yeah, it's totally insecure if Apple tells the police that you did indeed buy the phone that you reported as stolen to your insurance company.


macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2007
I would like to see how many of those requests are from jealousy women.
Or jealous/insecure men.
So this is how (un)secure your data is

And, no, this is a commendable effort from the largest company in the world to push back on government overreach and be as transparent to their users as the law permits.
  • Like
Reactions: KENESS and KeithBN
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.