Google has revealed that government requests for user data reached an all-time high in the second half of 2015. According to the latest Google Transparency Report, governments around the world made as many as 40,677 requests with 81,311 user accounts being affected. This is 18 percent higher than the first half of 2015. The US led the pack with 12,523 data requests, India made 3,265 requests during the reporting period. Also Read - Steam support coming to Chrome OS devices soonAlso Read - Google might launch its first smartwatch next year with these features
Google says that India s requests impacted 5,265 users, out of which only 49 percent were cases in which data was produced. While there were five emergency disclosure requests, India also made eight preservation requests, which impacted 11 user accounts. In comparison, India had made 3,087 requests impacting 4,829 accounts in the first half of 2015. Also Read - Google will not store your bank card details from January 1, 2022: Here’s how it will impact you
It is worth pointing out here that this was the highest number of data requests India made to Google since 2011 and it affected the maximum number of users. While the percentage of requests in which Google provided information has marginally increased since the first half of 2015, where Google had produced data for 44 percent of the requests, it is not as high as what was being provided earlier. For instance, Google earlier produced data for 61 percent of requests in the second half of 2014 and 66 percent for the second half of 2013. The highest was in the second half of 2010 when it shared data for 79 percent of the requests made by the government.
Google notes that requests by the governments have gone up of late, but also appreciates the new surveillance laws passed by the US and European Union. The European Commission and the United States recently agreed on the Privacy Shield agreement, which includes new undertakings covering procedural protections for surveillance efforts. Earlier this year, President Obama signed the Judicial Redress Act into law, which Google strongly supported, the company wrote in a detailed blog post.