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A/NZ Govts made over 4,000 Google user data requests last year

A/NZ Govts made over 4,000 Google user data requests last year

A year-on-year increase of over 1,000 requests

Credit: ID 130785653 © Andrei Gabriel Stanescu | Dreamstime.com

Google received more than 4,400 requests for user data from government agencies in Australia and New Zealand, an increase of more than 1,000 requests compared to the 2018 tally. 

In the six months from July to the end of December last year, Google received 2,009 requests from Australian agencies for the disclosure of user information. These requests were associated with roughly 2,456 accounts. 

In 88 per cent of requests stemming from Australia during the period, come data was produced as a result of the request. 

For the first half of last year, Google received 2,367 requests from Australia for the disclosure of user information relating to 2,887 accounts, with 83 per cent of requests seeing some data produced. 

Meanwhile, in the second half of last year, New Zealand authorities sent 40 requests for the disclosure of user information relating to 69 accounts, with 68 per cent of those requests resulting in some data being produced. 

The prior six months saw Google receive 27 requests for user information associated with 44 accounts, with 74 per cent of those requests seeing some data produced by Google for local authorities. 

The cumulative total of requests Google received from authorities in Australia and New Zealand during 2019 comes in at 4,443. By contrast, Google received 3,410 requests from A/NZ authorities in 2018, with Australia once again taking the lion’s share of the total. 

Google releases global data request information twice a year as part of its transparency efforts, as does Microsoft, which received over 1,800 data requests from A/NZ law enforcement entities last year, and 21,781 legal requests related to its consumer services from law enforcement agencies around the world in the final six months of 2019. 

According to Google, the total number of government requests for user information in the second half of 2019 alone came to 81,785, across all of Google.

Of that total, the number of requests targeting enterprises came in at 282, representing a very small percentage of about 0.3 per cent of the overall number of requests received. 

At the same time, for requests relating to G Suite Enterprise Cloud customers, Google said it produced data in a very small number of cases, 152 to be precise. 

“In each case, we reviewed the requests to ensure they were consistent with our policies and practices outlined below, and applicable law,” Google said in a blog post. 

Google also claimed it didn’t produce any Google Cloud Platform Enterprise Cloud customer data in response to government requests.


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