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Google calls for international framework for data sharing between governments

With the number of government requests for user data outside the US increasing, Google has now called for an international framework for data sharing between governments. Currently, there is no such mechanism for data sharing between different countries. Data sharing, currently, happens using diplomatic channels or mutual legal assistant treaties between the US and other countries. The US government first has to approve the request before Google can respond to it.   In its blog, Google said: "Cross-border requests for data continue to account for a substantial portion of overall requests... This underscores the need for an improved international framework that meets legitimate law enforcement needs and ensures high standards of due process, privacy and human rights... Without better and faster ways to collect cross-border evidence, countries will be tempted to take unilateral actions to deal with a fundamentally multilateral problem." Under the existing processes, Google notes that average time for sharing information between countries takes up to 10 months, often stalling and delaying investigative processes in case of a crime. Government requests for user data are increasing globally. In the latest bi-annual Google Transparency report, the company  claims it received 45,000 government requests for user data worldwide between July 2016-December 2016, with a majority of those requests--31,000--coming from outside the US. India placed the fourth highest user data requests (3,449). It was preceded by the United States (13,682), Germany (9,925) and France (4,775). Although, globally Google is responding to fewer government requests, in the second half of 2016 the company provided data for 57% requests from…

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