Visualizing Google's Transparency Report, Part 2: When the State Comes Knocking, How Does Google Reply?
This post was co-written by Katitza Rodriguez (EFF) and Olivia Solis (SHARE Defense)
Since Google first began releasing its transparency reports three years ago, international user-data requests have snowballed for Google -- a trend that shows no sign of abating. How Google has responded to these requests has varied by region.
Google has received 33,279 requests from the United States, which leads way in demands for user data. The United States' data requests include those issued by U.S. authorities for U.S. investigations as well as requests made on behalf of other states pursuant to mutual legal assistance treaties (MLAT).
These numbers are followed closely by European countries who have made 31,259 requests. Interestingly, European countries have the highest number of requests rejected, with Google refusing nearly half of their requests. Google will refuse to produce information for a number of reasons, including if the submitted requests are overly broad or submitted incorrectly.
EFF is excited to announce this, a visual collaboration with SHARE Defense, a new international advocacy group created by the Balkan Share Foundation this year with the goal of engaging in public policy debates concerning digital rights and promoting positive values of openness, decentralization, and free access. Below, we highlight the number of requests Google received, the number of requests they provided, and the number they refuse to provide.