July 19, 2024
Apple Confirms Government Requests to Surveil Users Via Push Notifications

Apple Confirms Government Requests to Surveil Users Via Push Notifications

Posted December 6, 2023 at 3:54pm by iClarified
Apple has confirmed that it receives government requests to surveil users via its push notification service, according to a Reuters report.

The acknowledgment comes in response to a letter sent by U.S. Senator Ron Wyden to the Department of Justice. In this letter, Senator Wyden says a tipster disclosed to him that foreign government agencies are requesting smartphone push notification logs from Google and Apple.
Upon inquiry into the matter, Apple informed the senator's team that the details of these practices are classified and restricted from public release by the government.

Here's how the letter describes the surveillance...

As with all of the other information these companies store for or about their users, because Apple
and Google deliver push notification data, they can be secretly compelled by governments to
hand over this information. Importantly, app developers don't have many options; if they want
their apps to reliably deliver push notifications on these platforms, they must use the service
provided by Apple or Google, respectively. Consequently, Apple and Google are in a unique
position to facilitate government surveillance of how users are using particular apps. The data
these two companies receive includes metadata, detailing which app received a notification and
when, as well as the phone and associated Apple or Google account to which that notification
was intended to be delivered. In certain instances, they also might also receive unencrypted
content, which could range from backend directives for the app to the actual text displayed to a
user in an app notification.

Wyden is asking the DOJ to allow Apple and Google to be transparent about the legal demands they receive, particularly from foreign governments.

Notably, in a statement to Reuters, Apple says that because of the public disclosure of these requests, it can now share more information with the public.

"In this case, the federal government prohibited us from sharing any information," the company said in a statement. "Now that this method has become public we are updating our transparency reporting to detail these kinds of requests."

More details in the full report linked below...

Read More

Apple Confirms Government Requests to Surveil Users Via Push Notifications
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