Endpoint/Device Security, Threat Intelligence

Push notifications leveraged to spy on Apple, Google devices, says senator

Nation-states were noted by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., to have been leveraging push notifications to enable surveillance on Apple and Google smartphones, according to TechCrunch. Both Apple and Google could be compelled by foreign governments to share information regarding individuals' usage of particular apps through notifications running in their servers without revealing such activities, wrote Wyden in a letter urging the Justice Department to ensure that the tech giants are transparent regarding foreign government demands. "These companies should be permitted to generally reveal whether they have been compelled to facilitate this surveillance practice, to publish aggregate statistics about the number of demands they receive, and unless temporarily gagged by a court, to notify specific customers about demands for their data," Wyden said. Apple noted that it was previously barred by the federal government from revealing details regarding push notification metadata but committed to begin specifying push notification token requests in its upcoming transparency report.

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