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Google Transparency Report: User Data Requests From Indian Govt. At All Time High!

This is the first time Indian Govt. is so keen on knowing users data!

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Google Transparency Report

Google is pretty serious when it comes to privacy of data, and data transparency. Starting from 2010, Google has been publishing their annual Google Transparency Report, wherein they make the records public regarding user data requests from law enforcement agencies and Govt. of any country.

They have just released a teaser report for user data requests made by Indian Govt., and as per the numbers, it has been found that such user data requests made by Indian Govt. is at an all time high.

In fact, ever since Google started publishing this report, this is for the first time that Indian Govt. is so keen to know user’s private data.

Google Transparency Report: 3843 User Data Requests From Indian Govt!

In the first half of 2017, that from January to June, Indian Govt. made total of 3843 requests to obtain user data from 6343 user accounts. Google has only provided data for 54% of this request.

For the same period last year, there were 3452 such requests for users data, from 6207 user accounts. This means that this year, there were 391 more requests for sensitive user data. Between July – December, 2017, there were total of 3449 user data requests from 6393 user accounts, and Google fulfilled just 57% of these data requests.

These data requests have been made via Govt. India, various courts, law enforcement agencies and civil litigation departments, under Govt. of India..

If we compare globally, then the total number of data requests made to Google has increased. Overall, Google has received 48,941 user data requests for from 83,345 Google accounts, all over the world (between January to June 2017). This is 4000  more compared to same period last year.

Globally, this year, Google has compiled with 65% of the data requests, thereby exposing 54,000 user accounts.

We don’t need to speculate what happened with them.

In a statement, Google said, “When we receive such a request, our team reviews the request to make sure it satisfies legal requirements and Google’s policies,”

Which Cases Were Sought After By Govt.?

Google hasn’t yet uploaded the exact cases, for which Govt. sought user data information for the period January to June, 2017.

However, if we look back a year, then we find exact incidents, which prompted Govt. to seek user data from Google.

Some of the prominent ones are:

  • Cyber Crime Cell of the Chennai requested 2000 YouTube videos to be removed, which were infringing MEGA TV’s copyright. (Videos were not taken down)
  • Department of Electronics and Information Technology had asked Google to delist several results related with gender tests and sex determination tests (listings were removed, which we applaud and appreciate)
  • Hazratganj Cyber Crime Enforcement Agency from Lucknow asked Google to remove a YouTube video wherein a police cop is seen slapping an elderly man (video was not removed)
  • Punjab Government asked to remove few news articles, which exposed drug scam. These news articles were not removed.
  • Mumbai police asked Google to remove allegedly obscene and defamatory images of Shri Balasaheb Thackrey, founder of Shiv Sena. The images were instantly removed.

You can view the entire list of such user data requests and subsequent action by Google here. (data for first half 2017 hasn’t been uploaded yet.)

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