However, according to a report from Bloomberg, it seems that Apple and Meta were reported to have handed over personal user data to hackers who were posing as law enforcement agents.
Some of you might be wondering how that works? Basically, it seems that usual requests for user data require a search warrant or a subpoena signed by a judge. However, there are certain “emergency requests” that do not require a court order, and this is what the hackers used.
According to an Apple representative, they told the publication, “The guidelines referenced by Apple say that a supervisor for the government or law enforcement agent who submitted the request ‘may be contacted and asked to confirm to Apple that the emergency request was legitimate’.”
However, while it might seem like a careless oversight, Allison Nixon, chief research officer at the cyber firm Unit 221B has defended both Apple and Facebook’s handling of the situation.
According to Nixon, “In every instance where these companies messed up, at the core of it there was a person trying to do the right thing. I can’t tell you how many times trust and safety teams have quietly saved lives because employees had the legal flexibility to rapidly respond to a tragic situation unfolding for a user.”