The government’s request for Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google surveillance report increased by 29% in the second half of 2015. In this period, the California tech giant received more than 40,000 requests for data, all which were related to more than 81,000 user accounts. The number was higher than the 35,000 requests in the first half of the year, which were representing about 69,000 accounts.
The status quo was different in the second half of 2014 whereby the requests from U.S. entities stood at 31,140. They were related to more than 50,000 accounts. The mathematical analysis shows how much the usage of Google services has been increasing every year. Apparently, the company had agreed to submit 64% of the requests worldwide, but it ended up handing over 79%.
Google surveillance report: Voluntary submission by other sites
Various search engines and social sites have been offering annual or semi-annual transparency reports to the government but on a voluntary basis. Google surveillance report has been submitted from as early as 2011, but hey, it does not open its doors every time the government comes knocking. It takes the time to review any given request to ascertain any legal implication and requirement as well whether the request is in line with its policies.
However, in it’s Who Has Your Back? 2015 report, EFF stated, “This is Google’s fifth year in the report, and it has adopted some of the policies we are highlighting, including the best practices from prior reports.”
The report further outlines the opportunities for growth that Google has and which it should imply to obtain a stronger position in providing notice to users about government data requests.
What is the government seeking for from the requests?
The USA Freedom Act was passed in June 2015. The technology companies submitting user information are required to exercise transparency. Apparently, Google does not give a breakdown of what the requests are all about. However, they could be about evidence that helps in identifying theft and terrorism cases. A large request is nonetheless narrowed down to fit what the government is seeking for from the Google surveillance report. Meanwhile, the company’s stock was trading was at $811.77, an increase of $2.20 or 0.27%
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