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Apple leads the charge on transparency while Verizon, Sprint, and Comcast lag behind

nsa seal

"NSA" is the hot topic on the tip of everyone's tongue these days, so it's become increasingly important for the big names in tech to have a clear disclosure policy on government requests for user account information. On January 27th, the U.S. Justice Department decided that tech's big dogs could publish statistics on the number of orders they receive from government agencies, and the percentage of those requests that are either fully or partially fulfilled. As Rob Pegoraro points on on Sulia, Apple has emerged as the frontrunner in transparency -- or at least the company quickest to reveal its data.

On the same day the Justice Department ruled to allow companies to publish their individual figures, Apple came forward with its in-depth, updated transparency report. Roughly a week later, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo followed suit with their own reports, and just today AT&T joined them. Verizon, on the other hand, hasn't yet updated its figures to show the more specific data, while Comcast, T-Mobile, and Sprint have yet to publish a transparency report of any kind.

To be fair, the number of user accounts which Apple has received information requests on (927) is a fraction of the number received by communications company like Verizon (321,545), so parsing out the various groups likely takes much longer. Still, the quickness with which Apple has reacted to the changing privacy landscape -- especially recently -- should be a bit reassuring for its users.