Google Transparency Report: U.S. accounts for most user data requests

Summary:Google has updated its Transparency Report of requests from governments around the world about content and user data, and the United States appears to be the winner.

Google has updated its Transparency Report of requests from governments around the world about content and user data, and the United States appears to be the winner.

According to the latest report, which has been updated with information between July and December 2010, the United States racked up the following stats:

  • 4,601 data requests
  • 94% of data requests fully or partially complied with
  • 54 content removal requests
  • 1,421 items requested to be removed
  • 87% of removal requests fully or partially complied with

Google also cited six court orders that resulted in the removal of 1,110 items from Google Groups relating to a case of continuous defamation against a man and his family.

Several other countries had significant data requests, including the United Kingdom with 93,518 items requested to be removed (89% complied with fully or in part) and Brazil with 12,363 items asked to be removed (76% compliance rate). South Korea asked for 32,152 items to be removed, and that country got its wish with 100% compliance on Google's part.

Many countries came in with less than 10 items asked to be removed, including Australia, Pakistan, and Hong Kong.

Additionally, several countries are listed in the report but lack any content removal requests at all. Some examples include Ireland, Finland and China. (Although that last one is questionable given the uneasy relationship between the Goog and China.)

The intention behind the Transparency Report is to provide information about "how the web is shaped by government influence," and how Google responds while trying to protect privacy.

New changes to the how the study is presented include detailing the percentage of user data that Google has complied with (either in whole or in part), a breakdown of data on a country-by-country basis, and disclosing why content has been removed (i.e. hate speech, defamation, etc.). CNET also notes that many of these removal requests are related to criminal investigations.

Related:

Topics: Google

About

Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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