Microsoft Got 594 User Data Requests From Indian Government In 2012


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Microsoft received a total of 418 requests for disclosure of 594 users & accounts from the Indian government for the calendar year 2012, it has revealed as a part of its Law Enforcement Requests report.

Although Microsoft complied with none of the requests resulting in disclosure of exact content, it complied with as many as 370 or 88.5% requests resulting in disclosure of subscriber/transactional (non-content) data.

The company mentioned that the content disclosed could include the subject or body of an email, photos stored in SkyDrive, address book information and calendars, while non-content information could include the user’s name, billing address and IP history among others. This is the first time that Microsoft has revealed the number of requests it receives from each government or law enforcement agency.

The company also revealed that 44 requests or 10.5% of requests resulted in disclosure of no customer data, that is, no data was found and around 4 requests or 1% of requests resulted in disclosure of no customer data or request rejected for not meeting legal requirements. The report states that some customer data was disclosed in revealing disclosure of content/non-content data requests.

Skype

As for Skype, Microsoft received a total of 53 requests for disclosure of 101 accounts/identifiers from the Indian government for the year 2012. Microsoft did not comply with any of the requests. Between July 2012 to December 2012, there were requests for 47 accounts specified in requests where compliance team found no data. Skype compliance team provided general guidance to the Indian law enforcement agency 10 times between July 2012 and December 2012, either in response to a rejected request or general questions about the process for obtaining Skype user data.

Microsoft mentions that that all of its major online services are covered in this report, including Hotmail, Outlook.com, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Account, Office 365. While Skype user account data has been disclosed separately.

Other developments

In January 2013, Google had disclosed that it had received 2,431 requests for disclosure of user data from 4106 accounts, from the Indian government between July and December 2012. It had complied with as many as 66% of the requests.

Microblogging service Twitter had also disclosed that it had received less than 10 requests for disclosure of of user information from the Indian government between July to December 2012,. Twitter had however complied with no requests. In August 2012, GoI had also requested Twitter to block 28 Twitter accounts which have allegedly tweeted communally sensitive or inflammatory remarks and photos.