Which Country Asks For Data On Google Users The Most?

In the second half of 2010 Google received 14,201 user data requests and it complied with 76% of these. Such requests normally relate to criminal investigations.  This was nearly a 6% increase on similar requests for the first half of 2010.

It comes as no surprise to note that the US Government easily topped the list (4,601 requests) and Google obliged by releasing all or some of this information, almost without exception (94% of the time).

The statistics demonstrate that a country such as Singapore, often touted as amongst the most controlling in terms of media, made far fewer requests (118 data requests of which 88% were complied with).

Click Image to see the Google Data Map

Brazil, India and the UK also made in excess of 1,000 user data requests during the latter half of 2010.

Google also receives requests from governments, the courts and law enforcement to remove content and this is detailed in the Transparency Report.

Brazil figured highly largely due to a Fall election period which saw the number of court orders issued from electoral courts rise, ordering removal of content related to political campaigns.

In addition, one court ordered removal of more than 11,500 photos from Picasa. The lawsuit alleged that the photos contained images of pages from copyrighted books.

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About thedigitalconsultant

Roger Smith is a retired international, digital consultant and former British Council Director of Online Operations within the East Asia region. http://thedigitalconsultant.blogspot.com
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One Response to Which Country Asks For Data On Google Users The Most?

  1. Jeffrey Paul says:

    One piece of data we’re not seeing here is whether or not that 4601 number includes extrajudicial requests such as National Security Letters (NSLs), of which the FBI et al are now sending something like 60,000 a year of.

    The whole thing with an NSL is that you are legally precluded from telling anyone (including your lawyer or spouse) about it. Considering the prevalence of gmail addresses, the “60,000” annual number we’ve seen from the FBI itself, it’s a safe assumption that that 4601 number is only the legal court orders – and not all of the gag-ordered extrajudicial ones (NSLs).



    The USA PATRIOT Act actually makes it a criminal offense for a service provider to communicate the existence of an NSL to any third party. It seems that Google is, as usual, complying with the law.

    Food for thought: How might that graph look when you double or triple that 4601 number? At what point does it become insane to continue living in the USA or using US-based data services?

    Jeffrey Paul
    (author of your referenced post “Do no evil, or comply with the Patriot Act?”)

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