Connecting state and local government leaders

Apple Building Portal For Law Enforcement Data Requests

The Apple headquarters campus in Cupertino, California.

The Apple headquarters campus in Cupertino, California. Shutterstock


Connecting state and local government leaders

The company will also build a digital forensics training program.

Around this time of the year, Apple is usually announcing its latest mobile devices. But this week, the company announced a tool geared specifically toward police.

On Tuesday, Apple sent a letter to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D- R.I. detailing some of the new tools it is developing for law enforcement to use, CNET reports.

This includes a new portal where law enforcement officials will be able to submit and track requests for data. Officials will first have to obtain "authentication credentials" before using the portal, which should be operational by the end of 2018. Apple also says it plans to develop an online training module for law enforcement officers, designed to match the in-person training the company currently offers.

According to the letter, these changes are in response to a report made earlier this year by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which called for greater attention to the "digital evidence needs" of law enforcement agencies.

While the company states that "Apple is committed to protecting the security and privacy of our users," these developments might seem frightening for those who value privacy. Apple hosts a ton of data on its users, and law enforcement can be quick to request data and ask for tech companies' help to break encryption, such as in the San Bernardino case.

Caitlin Fairchild writes for Nextgov, where this article was originally published.

NEXT STORY: Election Officials Tout 2018 Security Coordination as 'Miles' Ahead of 2016