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Google says government requests for user data up 120%, explains how it responds to search warrants


Google today updated its Transparency Report with new data on government requests and also posted the video above today to provide a simple overview on how it responds to U.S. search warrants. In the updated report, Google says that requests from government for user information are up 120 percent since it first started publishing the data back in 2009.

Google notes that it’s “also seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests” and that it’s working with other organizations to introduce surveillance reform:

We consistently push back against overly broad requests for your personal information, but it’s also important for laws to explicitly protect you from government overreach. That’s why we’re working alongside eight other companies to push for surveillance reform, including more transparency. We’ve all been sharing best practices about how to report the requests we receive, and as a result our Transparency Report now includes governments that made less than 30 requests during a six-month reporting period, in addition to those that made 30+ requests.

Google’s reports on data requests from government organizations have been getting a lot of attention over the last year as more and more info about NSA programs reportedly targeting user data have come to light. The company first started reporting numbers on government requests for data from users or accounts during its January-June 2011 report.

While requests from government for user data have increased significantly in recent years, in 2013 Google only provided user data in about 65 percent of cases compared to 76 percent in the year earlier.

Google’s updated Transparency Report can be found here.

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Avatar for Jordan Kahn Jordan Kahn

Jordan writes about all things Apple as Senior Editor of 9to5Mac, & contributes to 9to5Google, 9to5Toys, & He also co-authors 9to5Mac’s weekly Logic Pros series and makes music as one half of Toronto-based Makamachine.