US user info requests up 120pc since 2010 – Google Transparency Report

27 Mar 2014

In its ninth incarnation, Google has released its transparency report, charting the dramatic rise in user information requests from governments and organisations.

The internet giant released the report today on its transparency report website, revealing the amount of requests from each individual nation, similar to the reports released by some of its biggest competitors in February, such as Yahoo!, Facebook and Microsoft.

The US had almost five times as many user requests in comparison with other major nations, with 59,058 requests made between 2010 and the beginning of this year, an increase of more than 120pc since the company’s first report in 2009.

The Brazilian government also put in a considerable amount of requests, with 28,026 recorded in the four years.

Meanwhile, Ireland came in considerably low, with just 167 in the same space of time.

Google wrote on its official blog that it wants to continue working with some of the internet’s biggest companies to push for greater transparency in how they operate as a business and with governments.

“We consistently push back against overly broad requests for your personal information, but it’s also important for laws to explicitly protect you from government overreach. That’s why we’re working alongside eight other companies to push for surveillance reform, including more transparency,” the blog post reads.

“We’ve all been sharing best practices about how to report the requests we receive, and as a result our Transparency Report now includes governments that made less than 30 requests during a six-month reporting period, in addition to those that made 30+ requests.”

The company has also produced a video explaining how they grant user requests from governments.


Colm Gorey was a senior journalist with Silicon Republic