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Government Requests Received By Google Have Doubled In Three Years

The search giant says governments have made more requests than ever before.

Google has been disclosing government requests for user information since 2010, and in the three years since then, the number of requests it has received has doubled. Why? Google says this is a reflection that its services are expanding, and that more governments are requesting user information than ever before.

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Image: Google

Out of 25,879 requests, the U.S. leads with the most at 10,918 as of June of this year. India stands at No. 2 with 2,691 requests. Throughout this period, Google’s compliance rate has declined. At the end of 2010, Google produced some user data for 76% of requests, and that fell to 65% as of June.

In updating its Transparency Report for the eighth time, Google decided to break out more information–what it’s allowed to share, at least. That includes emergency disclosures (1% of requests), pen register orders (2%) to track numbers called from particular phone lines, and other court orders (6%) in addition to subpoenas (68%) and warrants (22%), which make up the bulk of requests. Google says it will continue to push to make government requests for user data more transparent.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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