Are Tech Giants Like Apple and Google Spying on Your Push Notifications?

Senator Ron Wyden’s office is pushing for Apple and Google to reveal the details of how foreign governments may be spying on smart phone usage. The companies may be handing over push notifications, which pass through the smart phone provider, to government services if asked. However, the Department of Justice is preventing the companies from disclosing this practice.

Apple claims it was prohibited from sharing information about this process and will update its transparency reporting to include requests for push notification tokens. Senator Wyden asks the DOJ to allow Apple and Google to inform customers and the public about the demand for these app notification records. Google did not respond to a request for comment.

The unique system of push notifications means that even if an app pledges to be secure, it must use the Apple or Google system to deliver push notifications, opening up the potential for private messaging and metadata to be shared with foreign governments. This revelation comes at a time when privacy and security are emphasized by companies, despite increasing difficulty in determining what can truly be trusted.