Microsoft fielded 1,637 customer data requests from Aussie law enforcers last year

1,169 requests resulted in some customer data being disclosed by the company

Microsoft received 1,637 requests from Australian law enforcement bodies for the 12 months ending December last year, with 1,169 requests resulting in some customer data being disclosed by the company.

Microsoft has released its latest six-monthly Law Enforcement Request Reports for the countries around the world in which it operates, with the company revealing it received a total number of 22,939 legal requests for customer information from law enforcement agencies.

The tech giant said that the latest tally represented a slight decrease from the previous six-month period.

The company fielded no fewer than 824 requests for customer information from Australian law enforcement bodies in the six months ending December 2017.

Meanwhile, 162 individual accounts and users were specified in the requests.

Of the requests received by Microsoft from Australian law enforcement bodies for the six month period, 74 per cent – or 607 – resulted in some non-content user data being disclosed, while 14 per cent resulted in no data found and 12 per cent were rejected by the tech giant.

For the six-month period ending June 2017, Microsoft received 813 law enforcement requests about 882 individual accounts or users. Of these, 562 – or 69 per cent – resulted in some data being disclosed.

The latest tally shows that Microsoft received fewer total requests by local law enforcement agencies in 2017 than it did the year prior.

For the six months ending 2016, Microsoft received 747 requests from Australian law enforcement bodies for customer information, with 487 resulting in some customer information being handed over, or about 65.2 per cent of total requests.

In the first six months of 2016, the company received 1,000 requests from Australian law enforcers, with 715 requests resulting in some information being disclosed, or about 71.5 per cent.

Microsoft publishes the number of legal demands for customer data that it receives from law enforcement agencies around the world twice a year.

The company said that, while the reports only cover law enforcement requests, Microsoft follows the same principles for responding to government requests for customer data.

A majority of the law enforcement demands Microsoft received during the latest six month period continued to come from a small handful of countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Germany.