Apple revealed on monday that it received between 4,000 and 5,000 data requests in six months from U.S. law enforcement for user information and affected accounts.
Apple said the most common forms of requests involved investigating robberies and other crimes. Period between December 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013, federal, state and local law enforcement had requested customer information up to 5,000 times, related to between 9,000 and 10,000 accounts or devices.
But the iPhone maker said it works vigorously to protect the privacy of its users and only provides information by court order. “We will continue to work hard to strike the right balance between fulfilling our legal responsibilities and protecting our customers’ privacy as they expect and deserve,” statement from Apple.
Apple doesn't provide some types of information either because the company doesn't retain it or because it is encrypted, the company said. Apple also specified certain types of communications are protected, such as FaceTime and iMessage conversations, which are “protected by end-to-end encryption so no one but the sender and receiver can see or read them.”
Google on Saturday said it already publishes that data, and is still awaiting permission to publish FISA disclosures.
Microsoft released a statement on Friday saying that over a six-month period, ending on Dec. 31, 2012, it received between 6,000 and 7,000 criminal and national security warrants, subpoenas and orders, affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 customer accounts from local, state and federal government agencies.
The companies have denied claims the NSA could directly access their servers. US authorities have said the program was legal and limited.
The Apple also said that it does not store data related to consumers’ location, Map searches or Siri requests in a way that they can be traced back to an individual.