Apple launches global law enforcement web portal for data access

The platform will allow agencies to submit and track their data requests

Apple store

Apple has launched a portal law that enforcement agents can use to file requests for data, track their historical requests and be granted access to information if Apple thinks it's a worthy cause.

However, the company has stressed that it wouldn't interfere with its commitment to protect its customers, vowing it will ensure law enforcement organisations will only be able to access data that Apple sees fit to provide them with.

"We believe that law enforcement agencies play a critical role in keeping our society safe and we've always maintained that if we have information we will make it available when presented with valid legal process," the company said in its updated Government Information Requests statement on its website.

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"In recognizing the ongoing digital evidence needs of law enforcement agencies, we have a team of dedicated professionals within our legal department who manage and respond to all legal requests received from law enforcement agencies globally. Our team also responds to emergency requests globally on a 24/7 basis."

The new portal will allow police forces to submit requests and these will be assessed by Apple's legal teams. Apple will also create another team to train law enforcement officers around the world and online training about how to put through data requests and how they deal with such demands.

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Law enforcement agencies often request access to data including the following:  device identifiers, customer service records, and iCloud content such as emails, stored photos, documents, contacts, calendars, bookmarks, Safari browsing history, Apple Maps search history, iMessages backups, and iOS device backups. It can also provide access to personal customer data including name, postal address, email address, phone number, IP address, details of customer service contact and Find My iPhone records.

However, Apple's policies state that anyone requesting the information must properly request access only to the data they specifically need or feel that may help their investigation rather than asking for everything.

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