Google received over 40,000 requests for information on user accounts from governments in the six months ending December 2015, the highest number the firm has ever received.
The latest Google transparency report shows a total figure of 40,677 requests, almost 5,000 higher than in the previous six months at 35,365 and marking a notable jump.
Furthermore, these requests related to a whopping 81,311 user accounts, another major increase on the 68,908 in the previous six months.
Google complied with these requests 64 per cent of the time, demonstrating that it does push back where possible. This also continues the general trend of Google declining more and more requests, which has been as high as 76 per cent.
The largest number of requests, 12,453, came from the US relating to 27,157 accounts. Google gave up some data on these requests 79 per cent of the time.
The UK made 3,497 requests for information on 5,405 accounts, and Google complied 72 per cent of the time.
Germany was ahead of the UK for requests, and second in the list overall, at 7,491 relating to 11,562 accounts. Google complied just 57 per cent of the time, perhaps demonstrating the power of the nation’s tough privacy laws.
Other sizeable requests were seen in India (3,265), France (4,174), Australia (1,258) and Singapore (1,381).
Richard Salgado, Google’s legal director for law enforcement and information security, explained that the firm is proud of its work to highlight the requests it receives, and believes that new efforts, such as Privacy Shield, to protect citizens from government agencies are to be welcomed.
“We’re pleased with some of the improvements we’ve seen in surveillance laws,” Salgado said in a Google Public Policy Blog post.
“The European Commission and the US recently agreed on the Privacy Shield agreement, which includes new undertakings covering procedural protections for surveillance efforts.”
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