Google released its biannual transparency report on Thursday, revealing that it received 48,941 government data requests affecting 83,345 user accounts in the first six months of 2017. As you can see in this chart from Statista, this is a record breaking number of data requests in a six month period. The United States issued 16,823 of these requests, the majority of which were subpoenas.
Google made headlines in 2006 for refusing a Justice Department request to turn over records on millions of users’ search queries. Four years later, it released its first transparency report. Companies like Twitter, Microsoft and Apple were quick to follow, and today Google’s reports serve to illustrate to users the impacts of government policy on the free flow of information online.
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