Apple reveals which governments made most app removal requests | Cult of Mac

Apple reveals which governments made most app removal requests


Apple takes privacy seriously
Apple reveals who's after your data.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

In its latest transparency report, Apple details all the requests it has received from around the world regarding customer data.

For the first time ever, Apple also sheds light on requests it has been made to remove certain App Store apps.

App removal requests

Apple received 80 takedown requests from 11 countries. These covered 770 different apps. China made by far the largest number of requests, covering 626 apps. Of these, 517 were ultimately removed. These largely covered apps which broke local gambling and pornography laws. As Apple explains, it removed apps where, “the request sufficiently demonstrated a valid legal violation.”

The U.S. made no takedown request. In total, 634 apps were removed by Apple as a result of takedown requests. Other reasons for app removal included copyright infringement, privacy violations, and more.

Worldwide requests

Apple says that it received 29,183 requests for device data covering 213,737 devices around the world. The largest number of requests came from Germany, which made 12,343 requests. Apple granted 77% of these. After this, the U.S. made 4,680 requests, covering 19,318. Apple granted 81% of these. The majority of U.S. requests involved investigations regarding stolen devices.

Apple also details the number of request financial identifier information it received. This is predominantly requested by law enforcement agencies investigating possible fraud cases. An example of this is fraudulent credit card activity used to try and purchase Apple services or products.

Overall, Apple received 4,626 of these requests. 960 came from the U.S., covering 8,283 financial identifiers in total. Apple granted an average of 85% of these requests. Again, Germany made the most requests, numbering 1,327, covering 4,890 different financial identifiers.

Apple is committed to privacy

The report additionally includes information on worldwide government account preservation requests, and more. You can check out the full report here.

“Apple is very seriously committed to protecting your data and we work hard to deliver the most secure hardware, software and services available,” the company notes. “We believe our customers have a right to understand how their personal data is managed and protected.”

The transparency report details requests from government agencies and U.S. private parties from July 1 through December 31, 2018.