On Data Privacy Day, Google Details Its Fight Against Government Requests

Google is targeted by a huge number of requests for user data

By on January 28th, 2013 09:47 GMT

Google's Transparency Report has been a great tool for highlighting just how many data and takedown requests Google gets every single day. Unfortunately, it also showed that most of the times Google complies with requests, only a small percentage are dismissed outright.

The report has recently been updated with the latest numbers from the last half of 2012. It showed, once again, that the number of requests is on the rise.

Being that today is Data Privacy Day, Google has provided a slightly more detailed explanation of the steps it takes to ensure that your data is safe and that it only complies with valid requests.

"It’s important for law enforcement agencies to pursue illegal activity and keep the public safe," Google's Chief Legal Officer David Drummond wrote.

"We’re a law-abiding company, and we don’t want our services to be used in harmful ways. But it’s just as important that laws protect you against overly broad requests for your personal information," he said.

For one, Google says it's been fighting to tighten laws and make sure digital possessions are given the same protection as your physical possessions get. Given how much governments are pushing to get more data, this fight will be a tough one.

Google also fights to push back against requests that don't meet its standards, they may be too broad or those making them may not have the authority to do so.

Google gets tens of requests per day and each of those are reviewed thoroughly. In some cases Google asks for a narrower scope in the request, or, if it complies with it, it take steps to notify the users that their data is being shared.

In some cases, in many cases in fact, authorities attempt to block Google from notifying users and Google sometimes fights against this.

The company has created a new section on its Transparency Report site which provides more info on this process, though it's rather broad since laws and rules vary from country to country.

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