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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : September 16, 2014

Google: U.S government user data requests up 250% since 2009

Google's latest transparency report reveals the significant increase in demands for user data received by the company from governments of all sizes.

by Helen Leggatt

Google's latest twice-yearly transparency report, the tenth since it was begun in 2009, reveals yet another sharp rise in the number of government user data requests.

Not only does this illustrate Google's growth, but also governments' continuing and increasing interest in getting hold of the data for criminal investigations. In the first half of 2014, 32,000 requests were received by Google, up 15% on the previous six months. That figure also represents a whopping 150% increase on those recorded in Google's first report in 2009.

When looking at the U.S. specifically the growth in requests is even larger - up 19% in the first half of this year compared to the previous six months and up 250% since 2009.

"This increase in government demands comes against a backdrop of ongoing revelations about government surveillance programs. Despite these revelations, we have seen some countries expand their surveillance authorities in an attempt to reach service providers outside their borders," writes Richard Salgado, Google's legal director for law enforcement and information security on the company's Public Policy Blog.

"Others are considering similar measures. The efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice and other countries to improve diplomatic cooperation will help reduce the perceived need for these laws, but much more remains to be done."

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: crime, data requests, Google, government, user data

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