Apple has revised its policy, now mandating a judge’s authorization for the release of push notification information concerning its customers. This adjustment aligns Apple’s approach with that of Google, heightening the threshold for law enforcement to access app data related to users.
The updated policy wasn’t formally announced but recently surfaced within Apple’s publicly accessible law enforcement guidelines. This change comes subsequent to Senator Ron Wyden’s disclosure that officials were seeking such data from both Apple and Google, the latter being the division of Alphabet responsible for the Android phone operating system.
Push notifications serve as crucial alerts for various apps, notifying smartphone users about incoming messages, news updates, and other relevant information. However, many users are unaware that these notifications typically traverse Google and Apple servers.
Both Apple and Google confirmed receiving these requests. Initially, Apple’s guidelines mentioned the availability of such data “with a subpoena or greater legal process.” The guidelines have now been updated to stipulate the need for more stringent warrants.
Apple has not issued an official statement regarding this update, and Google has yet to respond to requests for comment.
Senator Wyden commended Apple’s alignment with Google, emphasizing the necessity for a court order in accessing push notification-related data, stating that Apple is “doing the right thing.”