From July to December 2020, Microsoft was requested 24,798 times by government agencies to share user information. The company has rejected more than a quarter of these claims.
The requests came mainly from the United States, it appears Microsoft Report. That country is responsible for 5,682 claims. Germany made 4,976 requests, as did the United Kingdom 3,312. Requests apply to more than 45,000 users in total. Brazil and France have been cited as the countries that made the most data requests.
Significant increase, but not a record
This is a significant increase from previous times: Microsoft received 24,093 requests in the first half of 2020, and only 21,781 in the second half of 2019. The number of rejections has also increased. That happened in 2019 at about 20 percent.
25,000 may seem like a huge number, but it’s nowhere for the company. In the second half of 2013, the company received more than 35,000 data requests.
And requests for organizational cloud computing
Requests do not apply to consumer information only. In the second half of 2019, Microsoft received 109 requests for information about customers of its corporate cloud services. The company complied to a certain extent in 40 cases. In 19 cases, the company shared content with customers, while in 21 cases Microsoft was only forced to share information without content.
Mainly for criminal justice
Often, the requested information is used for criminal activities. However, a small portion of the applications also help with emergency and civil law matters. Microsoft has been able to divert 75 percent of this in the last six months.
Google also shares transparency statements
Microsoft is not the only company to publicly disclose how many times government agencies have requested access to personal information about its customers. Google also regularly publishes a transparency report. At the end of 2019, the company announced that it would provide the information in the report in addition to the Google Cloud Platform and workplace data requests.