Google strives to be as transparent as possible about government data requests. The company believes users deserve to know when a user has their data requested by the government and how often it happens to users in general. With this report for the year of 2013, we see that government data requests are increasing at a steady rate and show no signs of slowing down.
These requests generally stem from criminal investigations and don’t have anything to do with the “NSA surveillance” being talked about in the media. These are legal warrants to obtain data from Google. But even then, Google goes through great lengths to only provide the necessary data and no more. To illustrate the process of giving up data, Google created a cute video on the subject.
Is it worrying that government data requests are rising? A little, but do consider that these are legal warrants. Still, it isn’t very comforting that your data can be read at any time. Have any of you ever received a notice that your data has been given up by Google? I haven’t heard of it happening to anyone yet but I’d love to know. Leave a comment!