In 2016, Apple and the FBI went to court over the company’s unwillingness to hand over private data. Now the company is working to find a better way to handle law enforcement requests for data and information pertaining to criminal investigations. According to its website, the company is building an online portal that will make it easier for law enforcement to submit requests to Apple regarding such data.
Apple’s website says that, by the end of the year, it hopes to have created an” online portal for authenticated law enforcement officers globally to submit lawful requests for data, track requests, and obtain responsive data from Apple.” However, a letter sent to Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), seen by CNET, provides some more information on the company’s plans.
Many of Apple’s recently announced policies were made in response to recommendations from the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which suggested that Apple make changes to the way it works with law enforcement on investigations and training.
This new training is outlined on the company’s website, where it discusses Apple’s plans for a revamped relationship with law enforcement, which includes providing better training in technology and data-gathering. The company is working to create an online training program which will make it easier for law enforcement worldwide to receive Apple’s support in digital forensics.
The company believes that this new training program will help it reach smaller law enforcement organizations around the globe. The idea is to use the internet to provide training that is comparable to the in-person training Apple already offers to larger law enforcement organizations. Overall, the company believes that this “will assist Apple in training a larger number of law enforcement agencies and officers globally, and ensure that our company’s information and guidance can be updated to reflect the rapidly changing data landscape.”
In regards to the company’s customers, Apple in its letter to Whitehouse says it remains committed to protecting user privacy. It doesn’t provide details regarding how these new initiatives will affect existing customers, but it does promise that these new plans are consistent with its goals of protecting its customers’ privacy and data.
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