Google User Data Requests From Governments Hit New Record in 2019

The number of user data requests to Google from governments around the world shows data consumed by individuals is becoming increasingly important. The top three countries requesting data from Google include the United States, Germany, and India.

Governments and other agencies are heavily relying on the information provided by Google in order to get specific data about what users were doing while surfing the internet. Moreover, the number of accounts requested could be larger than the total requests made by the governments, meaning that a single request could contain several accounts.

Google User Data Requests From Governments Reached 165k In H1 2019

According to data gathered by PreciseSecurity.com, governments’ requests for Google user data nearly reached 165,000 during the first half of 2019. This comes at a moment in which privacy is very important for users and individuals around the world.

In general, governmental agencies, including courts, can request companies for information about how users were using their services. Google is specifically important because most internet users tend to search for different things through Google.

Google has also strict policies on how to handle users’ data. The request must be presented writing, signed by an authorized official and issued under an appropriate law. At the same time, the company may decide to narrow the requests made by entities considering sometimes they might be overly broad.

Furthermore, the number of user data requests could include information about several users and individuals. That means that each of these requests could be seeking information about multiple Google Accounts considering users could have several accounts.

Google cannot reject these requests because they are generally made by law enforcement agencies around the world. If the company wants to remain compliant with the laws that apply in these countries, it would have to provide the information requested as long as the requests are measured.

U.S. and Germany Register The Highest Requests For Personal Data From Google

Both the United States and Germany have registered the highest number of requests issued to Google during the first half of this year. The United States made 26,826 data requests to Google during the aforementioned period of time, followed by Germany with 10,009 data requests and India with 8,542 data requests.

At the same time, France made 6,775 Google user data requests, the United Kingdom 4,644, Brazil 2,966, Australia 2,367, Spain 1,618, Italy 1,509 and Poland 1,406. This shows people need to be careful about how they use Google products and services as their data isn’t necessarily private.

As mentioned before, the number of user data disclosure requests usually includes several users’ accounts. This is why this year the number of users and accounts requested more than doubled the number of general requests made to Google by institutions and agencies in the world.

Although these requests could eventually vulnerate users’ privacy, governments claim that they use this data only in cases that are extremely needed. At the same time, there could be governments that are more authoritarian than others and in which surveillance over the population could be larger.

PreciseSecurity.com has recently reported that data privacy searches skyrocketed to an all-time high in the United States since 2004. Private data is currently very valuable for companies because they can use it to create targetted marketing campaigns and many other things. One of the solutions thought by users is to start using password managers to better protect their data.

It would be interesting to follow the number of Google user data requests in the future and which are the countries leading the chart. At the same time, Google has a very huge challenge considering the number of requests has been growing over the last few years.

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