Apple issued one of its bi-annual transparency reports today, and apart from the usual numbers on account takedown requests, the company issued a statement saying that it’ll soon start reporting government requests to take down apps from the App Store. These requests will relate to alleged legal and / or policy provision violations, Apple says.
These numbers will tell us just how often governments are trying to block access to certain apps, and how many of those orders are actually obeyed. Google doesn’t yet report these numbers specifically for the Play Store. I’d be interested to know why the requests were filed and what apps were affected, but Apple hasn’t said if it’ll call apps out by name.
As for takedown requests over the last year, governments around the world sent requests for information on 29,718 devices. Data was provided in 79 percent of cases. This number could be encouraging, actually, if you consider that Apple verified each of these requests from a legal standpoint and determined that an overwhelming majority were within law enforcement’s legal rights. Governments also requested information on 3,358 Apple accounts, and data was provided in 82 percent of cases.