We hear a lot about apps being removed from app stores for a variety of reasons, and with the current political technology battle waged between the United States and China over the use of software, it’s interesting to take a look at just which countries are making app removal requests.
Apple provided a transparency report that shows not only which countries are making the most app removal requests but also the requests it has received worldwide for device data. These requests were made July 1 through December 31, 2018.
Apple App Removal Requests
Eleven countries in total make eight app removal requests. Out of 770 apps, China made the most requests, asking for 626 apps to be removed, with Apple agreeing to 517 of those requests. The United States didn’t make any requests at all. Overall, 634 apps were removed.
Many of the requests covered apps that broke gambling and privacy laws. Apple maintains that it removed apps when “the request sufficiently demonstrated a valid legal violation.”
Apple also reported on how many times countries asked for device data. 29,193 requests were made worldwide from a total of 213, 737 devices.
Germany made the most requests for device data with 12,343 requests. Apple complied 77 percent of the time. The U.S. made 4,680 requests of 19,318 devices, and Apple complied a little more, approving 81 percent. Most of their requests concerned investigations that covered stolen devices.
There were also several requests for financial identifier information, with the requests primarily coming from law enforcement investigating fraud. 4,626 requests were made, with 960 originating from the United States asking for 8,282 financial identifiers. Apple granted around 85% of these requests. Germany figures into this once again, making the most requests. They made 1,327 requests for 4,890 financial identifiers.
Commitment to Privacy
It’s interesting to note that Apple values privacy to an extent that it was a reason for the app removals, as well as legal violations and copyright infringement. Yet, they also obliged with requests to give up device data. But they are reaffirming their commitment to privacy.
“Apple is very seriously committed to protecting your data, and we work hard to deliver the most secure hardware, software, and services available,” explains Apple.
“We believe our customers have a right to understand how their personal data is managed and protected.”
What does it say about Apple’s commitment to privacy that they are removing apps per countries’ requests while also giving out device data in legal matters? Add your thoughts into our comments section below.