Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) recently released its regular transparency report. The report, which was partly introduced as a way of heightening pressure over government interference, showed that governments all over the world have been increasing their requests for private data. In fact, requests for private data have increased more than 70 percent over the past three years.
The report also revealed that the U.S government led the pack between July and December 2012, sending 8438 requests for information for an estimated 14868 users. This signaled a 6 percent increase from the first half of 2012. Although the number of requests increased, the number of affected users dipped; demonstrated by a 9 percent decline in the U.S. and a 3 percent decrease globally.
In this latest report, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) went the extra mile and gave a definitive breakdown of the various types of legal processes that governments are using to make these requests. The details in the report, 68 percent of requests issued to Google came from subpoenas, 22 percent came from search warrants issued via the Electronics Communication Privacy Act and the remaining 10 percent came from other processes such as court orders.
Unlike previous reports, this report did not highlight requests for content removal. The search giant said that it had decided to report content removal requests separately.
Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s legal director for law enforcement and information security, Richard Salgado, shared his insights on the matter through a blog post. “We’ll keep looking for more ways to inform you about government requests and how we handle them,” he penned. Salgado said that it was his hope that more companies and governments would borrow a leaf and join Google in releasing similar data.
Other than the U.S, other countries that were noted to have increased their information requests include India, which made 8438 requests for an estimated 4106 users, France, which made 1693 requests for around 2063 users, and the United Kingdom.