Saturday, 22 October 2011

What does Google do if the police or government requests access to user data?

Like other technology and communications companies, we receive requests from government agencies around the world to provide information about users of our services and products. Like any law-abiding company, Google sometimes may be legally required to share information with law enforcement. However, before sharing any information we first scrutinize a request to make sure that it complies with both the spirit and the letter of the law—and we may refuse to produce information or try to narrow the request. When possible and legally permissible, we notify the user in order to give him or her the opportunity to object.
We’ve created an interactive map of Government Requests that shows the number of law enforcement inquiries for information about users and requests for Google to take down or censor content. We hope this step toward greater transparency will help in ongoing discussions about the appropriate scope and authority of government requests.