Apple has released its first “transparency report” (pdf) revealing the broad details of governments’ demands for its customers’ personal data. In the first six months of 2013, the Obama Administration sought data on between 2,000 and 3,000 Apple users.
The requests centered primarily around getting a hold of details about peoples’ iTunes accounts, or in “very rare cases” access to their email and documents in their iCloud storage space.
The report says the US requests were not only the most of any nation by over a factor of 10, but were also more than the whole rest of the planet combined. The data on other nations were more specific, but Apple confirmed a “gag order” from the US government preventing them from offering any more specifics on their demands.
Apple has historically been reluctant to provide details about its operations to the public, and the sheer enormity of the company may leave some surprised that the figures are so low, though information on end-users of much of Apple’s hardware would go through telephone companies, not Apple itself.