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Apple synchronizes with Google: law enforcement agencies need court authorization to obtain user push notification information

2024-06-19 Update From: SLTechnology News&Howtos shulou NAV: SLTechnology News&Howtos > IT Information >

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Thanks to CTOnews.com netizen Coje_He for lead delivery! CTOnews.com December 14, Reuters reported that Apple has quietly updated its law enforcement guidelines to require U.S. law enforcement agencies to show a court order or search warrant before obtaining user push notification information. The new policy follows revelations that Apple and Google both provided details of notifications to the government.

Push notifications allow apps to send alerts to users when they are not open, such as text messages or emails. But the process involves sharing sensitive information, including metadata such as "which app received the notification, when it was received, and the phone and associated Apple or Google account to which it was sent," as U.S. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) wrote last week to Attorney General Merrick Garland.

Wyden's letter informed the Justice Department that his office had been investigating whether foreign governments had forced Apple and Google to submit personal details from smartphone push notifications. Wyden said both companies acknowledged the existence of such a situation and subsequently confirmed it to the news media. Apple told Reuters that the U.S. government had "prohibited" it from disclosing the requests, but added,"Now that this method is public, we will update our transparency report detailing such requests." "

CTOnews.com notes that Google has previously implemented a policy of requiring court orders. Wyden said in a statement that Apple "is doing the right thing, aligning itself with Google by requiring a court order to submit push notification related data. "

In the original letter, Wyden asked the Justice Department to "repeal or modify any policies" that prevent the companies from "being transparent about the legal claims they receive, particularly from foreign governments." According to 404 Media, Google already includes information similar to the request Wyden mentioned in its transparency report.

Although Wyden specifically mentioned foreign governments, U.S. law enforcement agencies have sought the same information. 404 Media's article details a 2020 FBI search warrant request. In the search warrant, the request agent stated that both Apple and Google would send a "push token" to a user's phone and then route that token through whatever app was in use to the company's servers that created it, with information that "helps identify the device that a particular user used to access their account."

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