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Apple Outlines The Legal Process For Obtaining User Data In New Document

Apple Outlines The Legal Process For Obtaining User Data In New Document

May 8, 2014

In a new document added to its website called “Legal Process Guidelines U.S. Law Enforcement,” Apple has provided an overview of how the company responds to law enforcement requests for user information.

At the Web page, the Cupertino, California company explains:

These Guidelines are provided for use by law enforcement or other government entities in the U.S. when seeking information from Apple Inc. (“Apple”) about users of Apple’s products and services, or from Apple devices. Apple will update these Guidelines as necessary. This version was released on May 7th, 2014.

First noticed by 9to5mac, the document indeed “contains information regular customers won’t ever need to know,” however given Apple’s recent comments concerning user information requests in the United States, the new information may prove interesting for some.

As we explained last week, Apple is now alerting iOS device users when government officials request access to user data. Along with Google, Microsoft, and Facebook, Apple believes its customers “have a right to know in advance when their information is targeted for government seizure.” Though of course, there are particular exceptions to this practice, and the company outlines these in its aforementioned legal document:

Apple will notify its customers when their personal information is being sought in response to legal process except where providing notice is prohibited by the legal process itself, by a court order Apple receives (e.g., an order under 18 U.S.C. §2705(b)), or by applicable law or where Apple, in its sole discretion, believes that providing notice could create a risk of injury or death to an identifiable individual or group of individuals or in situations where the case relates to child endangerment.

The entire document can be accessed now at Apple’s website. As 9to5mac adds, there are few surprises: “Apple can’t give law enforcement officials the passcode to a locked iOS device, geolocation data for active iOS devices is not stored by Apple and thus cannot be turned over to law enforcement, and so on.”

We’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.

In the meantime, see: Zane Rowe, Apple’s Head Of North American Sales, Leaves The Company, AppAdvice Daily: Last Minute Mother’s Day Gifting Guide, and Ready For Baseball Season? The App Store Is With MLB Perfect Inning.

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