Google has added more data to its Transparency Report, which lists countries that request data on users from the company or request that Google take down some data or censor results.The company is legally required to obey the requests, though it fights some. But at the very least it can reveal as much data as it's allowed about them.
Now it's expanding on the idea with data on copyright infringement takedown requests it receives.
And there's quite a lot of them, at this point it processes some 1.2 million requests each month.
"Today we’re expanding the Transparency Report with a new section on copyright. Specifically, we’re disclosing the number of requests we get from copyright owners (and the organizations that represent them) to remove Google Search results because they allegedly link to infringing content," Google wrote.
"We’re starting with search because we remove more results in response to copyright removal notices than for any other reason," it explained.
If you're at all interested in the subject, the new data should prove very interesting. You can find out which companies issue the most takedowns, surprise, surprise, it's Microsoft, what are the most targeted sites and so on.
The numbers are quite staggering, Google is getting about 250,000 requests like this each week, about as many as it got for the entire of 2009. It received some 3.3 million requests in 2011, but it had 1.2 million last month alone.
Google does try to keep an overview over the process and not just roll over and take down whatever it is asked. Still, each request is analyzed in an average of 11 hours. That may be enough if the request is for a few links, but when it's for thousands of pages, it's hard to make sure that all the requests are legitimate.