Latest Apple data shows a global drop in law enforcement info requests

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Apple's latest Transparency Report, which provides data on how many government or private requests for data, app removals, or account preservations have been made, shows a worldwide decline in late 2020 versus the first half of the year.

The latest version of the report, which is updated twice a year, covers the period between July and December 2020. The new numbers suggest an overall decline in requests for data globally compared to the previous update.

In the six months between July and December 2020, for example, Apple received a total of 25,784 device requests for 83,307 devices. That's down from 28,276 device requests for 171,368 devices in the previous six-month period.

Account preservation requests, which are often made for possible law enforcement evaluation, climbed slightly. Apple received 4,000 requests for account preservation, up from 3,751. In total, the company received 7,751 requests throughout 2020.

In the U.S., Apple received 4,025 government device requests between July and December 2020, down slightly from 4,641 requests in the prior six months. Apple gave the government data in 3,790 of those 4,641 requests.

Germany remained the top data requester in the period, sending Apple 11,474 total device requests — the highest number by a large margin. The 4,025 U.S. requests came in second, while Brazil ranked third with 1,639 requests.

Emergency requests for user data, which is provided in circumstances involving imminent danger of death or physical injury, were up. Apple received 1,162 emergency requests in the latter half of 2020, up from 770.

The reason behind the drops aren't immediately clear.