Google 2012 Report: Rise in government users’ data requests

Posted on January 24, 2013 04:59 pm

Statistics of the latest Transparency Report by Google shows the number of requests by government agencies across the world for access to users and their data on Google’s different services is rapidly rising. United States government is the most frequent requester of user data in the world according to the report. The search company does not specify the exact nature of the government requests for information although the Transparency Reports primarily cover requests in criminal matters only. However, Google adds that it cannot always be sure that a request necessarily relates to a criminal investigation and believes a small number of those who fall outside that category, such as government agencies seeking information on persons whose lives may be in peril.

If it is possible and legal to do so, Google notifies users whose data and account details have been requested by government agencies. Overall, the semi annual transparency report showed the most requests came from the United States, with 8,438 requests for information about 14,868 users. India was second with 2,431 requests for data about 4,106 users, followed by France, where Google received 1,693 requests for information about 2,063 users. Germany, Britain and Brazil rounded out the top six. The steady increase in government requests for our users’ data continued in the second half of 2012, as usage of our services continued to grow,” said Richard Salgado, Google’s head of law enforcement and information security.

User data requests of all kinds have increased by more than 70 percent since 2009.In total, we received 21,389 requests for information about 33,634 users from July through December 2012. Google said it supplied at least some of the requested data in 68 percent of cases, down from 76 percent in late 2010.In releasing details of requests in the United States, Google said 68 percent of the requests it received from government entities were through subpoenas, which “are the easiest to get because they typically don’t involve judges,” according to Salgado. Another 22 percent were through search warrants, mostly issued by judges when there is “probable cause” related to a crime. Google provided at least some data in 90 percent of the requests in the United States in late 2012, compared with 94 percent two years earlier. Below is the month of December 2012 report by country.

 

Period Ending Country CLDR Territory Code Legal Process User Data Requests Percentage of requests where some data produced Users/Acc.Specified

6/30/12

Argentina AR

137

38

178

6/30/12

Australia AU

523

64

841

6/30/12

Belgium BE

107

67

127

6/30/12

Brazil BR

1566

76

2640

6/30/12

Canada CA

50

24

50

6/30/12

Switzerland CH

82

68

113

6/30/12

Chile CL

101

45

143

6/30/12

Czech Republic CZ

44

32

44

6/30/12

Germany DE

1533

39

2007

6/30/12

Denmark DK

32

78

32

6/30/12

Spain ES

531

52

1037

6/30/12

France FR

1546

42

1880

6/30/12

United Kingdom GB

1425

64

1732

6/30/12

Hong Kong HK

192

33

192

6/30/12

Hungary HU

92

0

139

6/30/12

Ireland IE

34

6

34

6/30/12

Israel IL

55

60

55

6/30/12

India IN

2319

64

3467

6/30/12

Italy IT

841

34

1054

6/30/12

Japan JP

104

86

133

6/30/12

South Korea KR

423

35

917

6/30/12

Mexico MX

71

45

136

6/30/12

Netherlands NL

59

76

59

6/30/12

Norway NO

37

70

37

6/30/12

Poland PL

351

21

458

6/30/12

Portugal PT

184

14

247

6/30/12

Russia RU

58

0

58

6/30/12

Singapore SG

89

70

97

6/30/12

Turkey TR

112

0

120

6/30/12

Taiwan TW

271

63

307

6/30/12

United States US

7969

90

16281

12/31/12

Argentina AR

114

38

175

12/31/12

Australia AU

584

65

711

12/31/12

Belgium BE

120

63

153

12/31/12

Brazil BR

1211

66

2526

12/31/12

Canada CA

38

24

77

12/31/12

Switzerland CH

49

67

59

12/31/12

Chile CL

109

58

168

12/31/12

Czech Republic CZ

51

31

84

12/31/12

Germany DE

1550

42

1944

12/31/12

Denmark DK

34

59

41

12/31/12

Spain ES

447

49

665

12/31/12

France FR

1693

44

2063

12/31/12

United Kingdom GB

1458

70

1918

12/31/12

Hong Kong HK

255

31

251

12/31/12

Hungary HU

95

0

151

12/31/12

Israel IL

56

59

66

12/31/12

India IN

2431

66

4106

12/31/12

Italy IT

846

34

1051

12/31/12

Japan JP

124

62

149

12/31/12

South Korea KR

355

30

771

12/31/12

Mexico MX

90

24

150

12/31/12

Poland PL

409

17

500

12/31/12

Portugal PT

200

30

278

12/31/12

Russia RU

97

1

123

12/31/12

Singapore SG

96

75

153

12/31/12

Turkey TR

149

0

144

12/31/12

Taiwan TW

290

74

366

12/31/12

United States US Subpoena

5784

88

10390

12/31/12

United States US Search Warrant

1896

88

3152

12/31/12

United States US Other

758

90

1249

 

Contador Harrison