Google Transparency Report: Record data requests from government and courts

Google Transparency Report: US topped the list with record 14,168 user data request while India made 3,452 requests

By: Tech Desk | Updated: October 13, 2016 5:03 pm
Google, Google Transparency Report, Google Transparency Report page, google surveillance, survelliance, surveillance data, google surveillance data report, government data requests, tech news, technology US topped the list with record 14,168 user data request while India came in fourth with 3,452 user data requests (Source: Google Transparency Report)

Google has updated its transparency report page with data from the first half of 2016. Google’s report makes it evident that government and court requests for user data is only going up. With Transparency Report page, Google discloses the number of requests received from government during six-month period. Google says usage of its services have increased every year and so have the user data request numbers.

According to Transparency Report page, the request for user information has jumped to a record high of 44,943 with US leading the pack for request. The previous six months’ data revealed the data requests to be equal to 40,677. For the first time, Google received requests from Algeria, Belarus, Cayman Islands, El Salvador, Fiji, and Saudi Arabia.

As always, US topped the list with 14,168 user data requests followed by Germany and France with 8,788 and 4,300 requests. India managed to overtake the UK with 3,452 requests while the United Kingdom requested for 3,302 user data. Google’s Transparency Report page also reveals that the search giant granted access to 64 per cent of those requests. Google, however, won’t be sharing details of which accounts and data were requested.

Google says it also saw an increase in requests under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. Google in a blog post notes that the requests were in the tune of 21,000-21,499 as opposed to 16,000-16,499 – considerably more than the second half of 2015.

Google’s Transparency Report page notes that the US has implemented meaningful surveillance reforms and is beginning the process of bringing potential reforms to Section 702 of FISA, which authorizes surveillance of non-US persons outside of the United States.

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While Google’s Transparency Report page highlights the significant jump in user data requests, it is also worth noting the company is complying with some of the requests. While the new reforms could help bring down the number of user data requests, it won’t be a substantial one for sure.