May 19, 2020
Apple developing online tool to enable police requests for user data
Apple, in a letter dated 4 September to US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, has said that it will provide police with an online tool that will allow for user data requests, according to Reuters
While Apple has often been at odds with police requests for iPhone data, its refusal in 2016 to unlock the iPhone of San Bernardino shooter Syed Farook being one example, the company does provide some information to law officials should a valid request be made.
Reuters said that some user information will remain out of reach of law enforcement, as “it encrypts its devices in such a way that Apple cannot access the devices if asked to do so”.
The letter elaborated on the necessity for this platform, stating that Apple responded to 14,000 data requests from law enforcement last year.
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Responses to those requests were made by email, according to a company spokesman, but the new platform will enable law enforcement officials not only to raise requests but also track their progress.
The letter, as reported by Reuters, went on to say that Apple has already trained 1,000 officers in the process to follow for data requests, and that this in-person training will be moved to an online training course.
“It said the training and portal would be available globally”, Reuters added.