Google on Monday disclosed that United State government requested user data from the company more than 4,600 times last year.
Google in its Transparency Report said that it complied with 94 percent of U.S government requests for data about users. In the last six months of 2010, U.S. made 4,601 requests, Brazil made 1,804 requests and India made 1,699 requests. These figures are related to all Google services, including YouTube videos, Gmail, Blogger blog posts and search results.
Our goal is to provide our users access to information and to protect the privacy of our users. Whenever we receive a request, we first check to make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying, TG Daily reported quoting Matt Braithwaite of Google’s Transparency Engineering.
When possible, we notify affected users about requests for user data that may affect them. And, if we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it, Braithwaite said.
Orkut, Google’s social networking weapon which is highly popular in Brazil simply put outs that a lot of personal information is out there for the public. Hence, such a high figure doesn't state a proper system of governance.
In case of China, Google did not release figures of take-down requests from the Chinese government as they fell under state secrets. Now Google’s Landing page directs users to the Hong Kong site; while China presumes that it can do without the help of Google.
Countries such as India and Croatia for the first time have made large number of data requests.
Most requests by the U.S are related to defamation, with one set of six court orders resulting in the removal of 1,110 items from Google Groups which defamed a man and his family, TG Daily reported.