Google: User info requests have jumped 120 percent in four years

Summary:Google's legal director stressed that the Internet giant's ninth Transparency Report hones in on requests related to criminal investigations during the second half of 2013.

If there is one thing that Google's latest Transparency Report update illustrates, it is that requests for user information are not slowing down in the slightest.

Some followers might suggest that in the wake of the NSA data mining revelations last June, the number of requests might seem higher than expected as more tech companies move to publish these statistics.

But the Internet giant had already been publishing Transparency Reports about the number of requests it receives from government and law enforcement agencies worldwide for some time now.

Google legal director Richard Salgado stressed in a blog post on Thursday morning that this is Google's ninth Transparency Report, covering demands for user information related to criminal investigations during the second half of 2013.

The long story short, according to Salgado, is that these particular requests have shot up by approximately 120 percent since 2009. For reference, he stipulated that was when Google first started collecting and publishing this data.

Salgado also stressed that Google is reluctant to hand over user information whenever possible too:

Though our number of users has grown throughout the time period, we’re also seeing more and more governments start to exercise their authority to make requests. 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.

Topics: Government, Data Management, Google, Legal, Security


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,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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