Google’s new transparency request is out, and according to the search company, Government data requests are up 120% over the past four years. The report shows that the US consistently requests more data than any other country, but that number may be reaching a plateau. with 10,574 requests compared to 10,918 from the last reporting period. It may be too soon to be optimistic, since overall, government requests from all countries are actually increasing.
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. 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.
To help you understand the process, Google put together this great animation showing all of the steps that Google goes through before sharing your data.