Google reveals user data requests by governments on the rise

17 Oct 2016

Terrorist attacks are prompting increasing data requests by governments. Image: Rena Schild/Shutterstock

Google has revealed that government requests for data in the first half of 2016 are up 10pc on last year.

Google regularly receives requests from governments and courts around the world to hand over user data.

According to the Google transparency report, worldwide the company received 44,943 government requests over the first half of 2016.

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This is up 10pc compared to the first half of 2015.

Google transparency report shows terrorist attacks prompt rise in requests from governments

google transparency report shows data requests by governments are on the rise

Google said that it handed over information for 64pc of the requests, equal to last year.

At a time when scandals are emerging about how Yahoo complied with US spy agencies’ requests by actively scanning user emails, Google said it takes every request seriously and puts users first when it receives requests.

In the US, Google said it received 14,168 user data requests and handed over information in 79pc of cases while in the UK it received 3,302 requests and handed over information in 71pc of cases.

In Ireland, it received 19 requests for information regarding 62 customers, or accounts from the Irish authorities, and handed over information in 16pc of cases.

In France, following the terrorist attacks in Paris, French authorities made 4,286 requests in relation to 5,164 accounts and handed over information in 60pc of cases.

Anti-surveillance protest. Image: Rena Schild/Shutterstock

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years