Amazon saw spike in US demands for customer data

Its third transparency report showed an eight-fold increase in search warrants.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

(Image: CNET/CBS Interactive)

The total number of government requests for data on Amazon customers has doubled over the past year.

The retail and cloud giant quietly announced the latest figures for the first six months of 2016 ending June in a report, published Thursday evening, which showed a total of 1,803 different requests from the US government.

On the same period a year earlier, the company received a total of 851 different requests.

The number of search warrants the company received went up by more than eight times on the same period a year earlier.

The company received during the first half of this year:

The report also said that it received a separate 120 requests from overseas governments, of which it fully complied with 15 requests. The company didn't say from which countries the requests were made, however.

Amazon did not receive any removal orders for the period.

The company also said that it received between zero and 249 national security requests, such as a court order issued by the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court.

Tech companies are barred from disclosing exactly how many classified orders it receives.

This is the third time the company has issued a transparency report, after holding out as the last major technology company in the Fortune 500 to disclose how many times governments have come knocking on its door, demanding customer and user data.

But, after facing mounting pressure as transparency reports became an industry norm, the company issued its debut transparency a little over a year ago.

The transparency report only covers cloud figures for its Amazon Web Services, however.

A company spokesperson previously said they would not comment on whether the company will expand its transparency report to other products, such as the Amazon Echo.

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