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7 Dec, 2023
1 min time to read

This was revealed in a letter written by Oregon Senator Ron Wyden to the Department of Justice on December 6, which shed light on the privacy concerns surrounding push notifications.

Senator Wyden emphasized the potential risks of push notifications, stating that these alerts, designed to keep users informed, can also reveal private information. The main concern is that government agencies could use this method of accessing sensitive data, forcing Apple and Google to hand over information about users' interactions with various apps. Such data could even reveal the full text of notifications, and unveil some unencrypted content.

The senator urged the Department of Justice to lift any existing restrictions preventing Apple and Google from informing their customers and the public about demands for smartphone app notification records.

In a statement to Reuters, Apple said it was previously prohibited from disclosing government requests for push notification data. However, in light of recent developments, the company promised to update its transparency reporting to detail such requests.

Google, which already documents government requests for user push notification data in its transparency report, backed Wyden's promise to inform users about these surveillance requests.