Apple, Google, Facebook To Notify Users Of Government Data Requests

Apple, Google, Facebook To Notify Users Of Government Data Requests
<a href="">ElisaRiva</a> / Pixabay

Tech giants Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are going to end the practice of reluctantly complying with the government’s requests for user data. The tech giants said that they will update their policies to more routinely inform users of such data requests. The defiant companies said their users have the right to know in advance when federal authorities are trying to spy on them.

Will Apple, Google and other ignore instructions?

However, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) and others won’t inform users if a government data request is specifically gagged by a judge or another competent legal authority. Every year, government agencies scan Internet data of tens of thousands of U.S. users. Prosecutors have warned that such a move from companies would undermine cases by tipping off criminals and giving them enough time to destroy the electronic evidence, reports The Washington Post.

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The business of technology companies such as Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and other depends on users’ trust. Last year’s revelations of the NSA spying by Edward Snowden worried tech companies. After updating their policies, the companies will ignore instructions on stamps of subpoenas asking them not to notify subjects of data requests.

Apple is pushing hard to be totally transparent

Twitter Inc (NYSE:TWTR) was perhaps the first major technology company that decided to regularly notify users when agencies requested data. Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG) already alerts users of data requests. But the company will update its policy detailing certain situations when the notification is withheld. Lawyers at Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are also working on revising their own policies.

There have been rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) created a back door in the iPhone for NSA. But CEO Tim Cook said in an interview rejected claims of a back door. He said the company is pushing to be totally transparent.

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares inched up 0.10% to $592 in pre-market trading Friday.

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