The data-hungry tentacles of the NSA have managed to choke America’s top tech firms into silent submission on data requests, but after months of demanding more transparency, Apple is ready to defy authorities and let you know when the NSA wants your data.
Prosecutors warn that such a move will undermine investigations by tipping off criminals and allowing them to destroy sensitive data, but according to the Washington Post, Apple and others have already changed their policies.
“Later this month, Apple will update its policies so that in most cases when law enforcement requests personal information about a customer, the customer will receive a notification from Apple,” company spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said.
Facebook, Google and Microsoft are also in the process of updating their policies to let users know in advance when their data has been swept into an investigation, giving users the option to fight disclosures in court.
Alerts to data requests won’t affect those approved by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court which are automatically sealed by law, or subpoenas from the FBI that carry binding gag orders.
Apple and others say the new policies come with some exceptions, like if a potential victim is in imminent danger, especially if a child’s safety is vulnerable, but they argue the exceptions should be decided by a judge, rather than a company lawyer or investigator.
Source: Washington Post.