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Apple Going Into Online Law Enforcement

Apple is launching a web portal for law enforcement and will train officers how to submit requests for data from the company.

The web portal will be live by the end of the year as part of Apple's new law enforcement program. The company says it is committed to "protect the security and privacy of its users."

It's not like the company is going undercover. It's really more about transparency as Apple deals with rapid changes in data management.

Transparency Report

Apple published details in its latest Transparency Report, which explains the types of legal requests it receives. The company says it requires government and private entities to follow applicable laws when requesting information.

"If a request does not have a valid legal basis, or if we consider it to be unclear, inappropriate, or overly broad, we challenge or reject the request," the website says. It reports on requests every six months.

Apple's Law Enforcement Support Program will require "authenticated law enforcement" to submit requests through the new portal. Guidelines describe the types of information available from Apple, including customer service records, transactions and purchases, iCloud stored photos, browsing history, maps history, and more.

The company said it is "building a team of professionals" to train law enforcement and to provide responses to "emergency requests globally on a 24/7 basis."

More Information

Apple says it has never created a backdoor or master key to any of its products, and vows that it never will. When legally required, however, the company may provide customer names, address, email address, phone number and IP address.

MacRumors said Apple is launching the initiatives in response to a recent report from the Center for Strategic and International Studies on cybersecurity challenges. Apple has reportedly adopted all the recommendations in the report.

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