Apple gives US authorities Danes’ personal information

Electronics giant has provided personal information on six Danes to US authorities; businesses look to tighten IT security in light of constant surveillance revelations

Six Apple users in Denmark had their personal account data handed over to US authorities by the electronics giant during the first half of 2013. According to a report published by Apple, the company refused to release data on five other Danes.

The report does not say whether Danish or US authorities are behind the information requests, but Apple says that all requests must go through the US regardless of where they come from.

Authorities also asked for information regarding some 147 Apple products owned by Danes. The inquiries into the devices were divided into 55 individual questions, of which Apple answered 41.

Requests for personal information could involve something as innocuous as investigating a suspect iTunes account or could, in theory, be part of a terrorism investigation. The US government does not allow Apple to release the nature of the inquiries.

READ MORE: Denmark is one of the NSA's '9-Eyes'

Businesses also concerned
The climate of fear created by revelations that governments may be spying on individuals and businesses has had an effect on Danish companies and is creating a boom for those in the IT security business.

A spokesperson for industry advocacy group Dansk Industri (DI) said that its members are asking more questions than ever about internet security.

According to the secretary of DI's committee for IT security, Henning Mortensen, companies want to know how they can keep the security services out.

"We are getting many questions from businesses about what they can do," Mortensen told Politiken newspaper.

IT security companies report growing interest in their services since the revelations of the NSA eavesdropping scandal began coming to light over the summer.

READ MORE: New NSA leak: High level of Danish and US intelligence-sharing

"Companies have generally become more sceptical of cloud solutions, which stores data outside the house," Claus E Kotasek, the head of the firm SMS PASSCODE, told Politiken.

The company provides IT security worldwide and has seen growing interest from businesses across northern Europe and especially in Germany in the wake of revelations that the NSA bugged Chancellor Angela Merkel's cell phone.

Peter Kruse, the technical head at the security company CSIS, said that companies are afraid that any of them could be vulnerable to snooping from abroad.

"Many companies are genuinely concerned that the NSA is watching their communication and using it in a commercial context," Kruse said to Politiken.

The entire Apple government request log is available here

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