September 11, 2018
According to a recent letter from Apple general counsel Kate Adams to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-Rhode Island), Apple has plans to develop an online portal this year that would assist law enforcement in requesting user data in addition to educating police about the type of data that would be available for request. While the iPhone maker has provided user data to law enforcement in the past, including data stored in its iCloud, the company has sparred with law enforcement and government agencies regarding the encryption of its CE devices.
Apple indicates that it responded to 14,000 police requests last year, many of which were addressed via email within 20 minutes of receipt. Adams’ letter explains that the new online tool would help law enforcement make and track such requests.
“Apple said in the letter that it had trained nearly 1,000 law enforcement officers in how to obtain data from the company,” reports Reuters. “The training previously happened in person at Apple’s headquarters, but the company said it would create an online training course and a team of trainers to help extend its reach to smaller departments.”
“This new training is outlined on the company’s website, where it discusses Apple’s plans for a revamped relationship with law enforcement, which includes providing better training in technology and data-gathering,” notes Digital Trends. “The company is working to create an online training program which will make it easier for law enforcement worldwide to receive Apple’s support in digital forensics.”
A recent survey of state and federal law enforcement officials by the Center for Strategic and International Studies found that their leading concern was how to identify which tech companies could access data, what data was accessible, and and how to obtain the data, especially since technologies evolve so rapidly.
The full letter to Senator Whitehouse is available on CNET.