Tuesday, February 27, 2024
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Apple updates its Legal Process Guidelines regarding law enforcement requests

Following yesterday’s report that Senator Ron Wyden claims unidentified governments are surveilling smartphone users via their apps’ push notifications, Apple has updated its Legal Process Guidelines to reflect the company’s legal obligation to comply with law enforcement requests for Apple ID information associated with its push notification service. 

Here’s a bit of info from the Guidelines: For government and law enforcement information requests, Apple complies with the laws pertaining to global entities that control our data and we provide details as legally required. For all requests from government and law enforcement agencies within the United States for content, with the exception of emergency circumstances (defined in the Electronic Communications Privacy Act 1986, as amended),

Apple will only provide content in response to a search warrant issued upon a showing of probable cause, or customer consent.

All requests from government and law enforcement agencies outside of the United States for content, with the exception of emergency circumstances (defined below in Emergency Requests), must comply with applicable laws, including the United States Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). A request under a Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty or the Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data Act (“CLOUD Act”) is in compliance with ECPA. Apple will provide customer content, as it exists in the customer’s account, only in response to such legally valid process.

For private party requests, Apple complies with the laws pertaining to customer data and provides data as legally required.

Apple has a centralized process for receiving, tracking, processing, and responding to legitimate legal requests from government, law enforcement, and private parties from when they are received until

when a response is provided. A trained team in our legal department reviews and evaluates all requests received, and requests which Apple determines to have no valid legal basis or considers to be unclear, inappropriate or over-broad are objected, challenged or rejected.

Apple provides responses to the requesting law enforcement agency at the official law enforcement email address of the requesting officer. All evidence preservation pursuant to the responses provided by Apple is the responsibility of the requesting law enforcement agency.

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.