Google Logo

The Indian government ranked second in the world, when it came to user accounts for which information was requested, behind the United States of America, Google has disclosed in its updated Transparency report. In terms of user data requests, India ranked fourth behind the United States of America, Germany and France.

India made a total of 2,794 requests to Google seeking user data details from 5,002 accounts during January-June 2014, a significant increase from 2,513 requests seeking information from 4,401 accounts during the July-December 2013 period.

While there is an increase in the number of requests, Google’s compliance with these requests has however dipped: It complied with 61% of these requests as compared to 66% compliance during the July-December 2013 period.

It’s worth noting that these requests doesn’t include content removal requests sent by the Indian government, which is disclosed separately and doesn’t seem to have been updated since December 2013.

In December 2013, Google had informed that it had received a total of 163 requests to remove 714 items from Google services in the first half of 2013, of which Google complied with only 20% of these requests, the lowest compliance rate ever since Google started publishing transparency reports.

There is also no product-wise break-up for the user data requests or any specific information on which government agencies have sent these requests. Note that Google had provided this information for takedown requests in December last year. 

For instance, Google had mentioned that its video sharing service YouTube was the biggest target for takedown requests during January-June 2013 and more than 30% of requests sent by government agencies were on charges of defamation. We hope that Google offers a similar product-wise breakup for its user data requests going forward.

US leads in terms of user data requests & user accounts

Overall, Google has received 31,698 user data requests requesting information on 48,615 accounts during January-June 2014, up significantly from 27,477 user data requests seeking information on 42,648 accounts during July-December 2013. Google complied with 65% of these requests, up from 64% compliance rate in July-December 2013.

United States continues to top the list of countries that requested for user data from Google for the period with 12,539 requests on 21,576 accounts and 84% compliance, as compared to 10,574 requests on 18,254 accounts and 83% compliance in July-December 2013. This was followed by Germany with 3,338 requests and France with 3,002 requests. A country-wise list of user data requests here.

Google’s transparency report list

– July-Dec 2013: 2,513 user data requests with 66% compliance.
– Jan-Jun 2013: 2,691 user data requests with 64% compliance & 163 takedown requests with 20% compliance
– July-Dec 2012: 2,431 user data requests with 66% compliance & 160 takedown requests with 36% compliance
– Jan-June 2012: 2,319 user data requests with 64% compliance & 101 takedown requests with 33% compliance
– July-Dec 2011: 2,207 user data requests with 66% compliance & 101 takedown requests with 51% compliance
– Jan-June 2011: 1,739 user data requests with 70% compliance & 68 takedown requests with 22% compliance.