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Government Asks Google To Hand Over Record Amount Of Users’ Personal Info

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Eric Lieberman Deputy Editor

The federal government submitted a record number of data requests for personal information of Google users in the second half of 2015.

The tech giant’s latest transparency report reveals that the grand total of requests from international governments surpassed 40,000 for the first time in a six-month timespan. There were 35,365 requests in the previous term, and only 30,140 one year prior.

The U.S. had the largest number of data requests, with a total of 12,523. Google granted some degree of data to approximately 79 percent of these cases, according to TechCrunch.

Google releases transparency reports on a fairly regular basis in an attempt to prove to the public its sense of responsibility when dealing with individuals’ personal information.

These Google transparency reports expose international governments for their frequent attempts to obtain personal information and holds Google accountable as it stockpiles massive amounts of data. Google has set a precedent, prompting other data collectors and tech conglomerates, like Facebook and Twitter, to regularly release similar reports.

“Google is proud to have led the charge on publishing these reports, helping shed light on government surveillance laws and practices across the world,” Google stated in a published blog post.

Google faced significant criticism after a Russian hacker allegedly obtained passwords for 23 million Gmail accounts, although the hack turned out to be relatively harmless. A spokesperson for Google explained to Ars Technica that “more than 98% of the Google account credentials in this research turned out to be bogus,” and that evidence was not corroborated.

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