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Google Seeing An Increase In Government Data Requests

Thanks to the leaked documents uploaded onto the internet by former CIA contractor Edward Snowden, the way we look at privacy has forever been changed. What was shocking was how governments have been spying on its citizens, which in turn has led tech companies to be more transparent about how often they are approached to share user data with Government bodies.

Unfortunately if you were hoping that these requests might have been tempered following these revelations, you’d be mistaken. In fact there seems to be an increase in these requests, at least that’s according to Google’s latest transparency report (via Recode). According to Google, the number of requests that they’ve gotten at the end of 2016 is at 45,550. This is versus 2015 where it was at 40,677.

However the good news is that it seems that while the number of requests are on the rise, Google has been responding to less of them. In 2016, Google only responded to 60% of these requests, versus 2015 where they responded to 64%. The peak was towards the end of 2010 where Google responded and produced data on 76% of requests.

According to Google’s general counsel Kent Walker, “In many ways, this shouldn’t be surprising. As more people use more of our services, and as we offer new ones, it is natural that we are seeing an increase in government requests. For example, Gmail had around 425 million active users in 2012 and more than one billion by 2016.”

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Google Seeing An Increase In Government Data Requests


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