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Apple Reveals App Store takedown claims from governments – TechCrunch



For the first time, Apple has published the number of requests received from governments to take apps from its app store.

In its latest transparency report published Tuesday, tech giant said it received 80 requests from 11 countries to remove 634 apps from local app stores during July 1 and December 31, 2018.

Apple did not list the apps that were removed but noticed in most cases why apps were pulled. China made up the bulk of the requests and attempted to remove 517 apps claiming to have violated its rules of gambling and pornography. Vietnam and Austria also requested the takeover of several apps that violated its gambling laws, while Kuwait asked Apple to withdraw some apps that were broken by privacy laws.

Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Lebanon were among the countries requesting the removal of some apps along with the Netherlands, Norway and Switzerland.

The move comes more than a year after the company promised to publish the figures beginning with this latest transparency report.

Apple said it will be in a future transparency report ̵

1; slated for mid-2020 – will report on appeals received in response to government's demand to remove apps from the company's localized app stores.

The tech giant has also written several national security letters for the first time, which it has been authorized to publish.

National Security Letters (NSLs) are controversial applications issued by the FBI without legal control and often with a gag order that prevents the company from revealing their existence. Since the introduction of the Freedom Law in 2015, the FBI was obliged to periodically review gag orders and lift them as they were no longer considered necessary.

Apple first revealed that it received an NSL in 2017 but never published the document. In its latest transparency report, the company finally released the letter – along with four others from 2018, which had raised the gag order in April and May 2019.

  Screenshot 2019 07 02 at. 8.52.33

The first national security letter Apple published, but never released – so far. (Image: Apple)

As for the rest of the report, most government claims fell for six months compared to the previous reporting period.

Apple said it received 29,183 government claims – almost down 10 percent in the last reporting period – to access 213,737 units in the second half of last year.

Germany issued the most legal requirements for the six-month period ending December 2018 with 12,343 requests for 19,380 units. Apple said the large number of requests was primarily due to police investigation of stolen devices.

The United States was in a distant place with 4,680 claims of 19,318 units.

Apple also received 4,875 account information requests, such as ICloud-up stored information by 16 percent in the previous reporting period – affecting 22,503 accounts.

The tech giant also saw an increase in the number of government requests to maintain data for up to three months. Apple said it received 1,823 requests, up 15 percent, affecting 5,553 accounts, under which law enforcement tried to get the right orders to access the data.


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