The US government in the first half of 2017 has made the data access requests to Google for individuals reached 6 years high during the first quarter of 2017, the search engine claims.
Google transparency report which was published last week shows the US government has made requests to get details about 48,902 accounts 24 percent more as compared to last six months of 2016.
Not only Google, the US government also sought accounts and data access requests from Apple Inc, the company said there is an increase of 62% in the number of user account requests from the US government as compared to the same period last year, a total number of requests made by US government are 6,407.
One could be confused over the dramatic change in data requests during the Trump regime. The crime rate in the US is increasing or it is getting more political is still a debate to be settled.
However, Campaign Group Policy International foresee a dramatic increase in requests further.
But, Gus Hosein, the Executive director said something strange while commenting on this issue, “What’s remarkable is that in the last couple of years, the US has been so activist in the idea—that it doesn’t have the data that it needs.” Now the increasing demand for data is just taking the advantage of the narrative?”
Besides the US, South Korea, Brazil, and Spain were also among the countries which increased data requests to tech giants phenomenally. And the UK made fewer requests, gradually decreasing since 2014, there was 7% decrease in requests.
In the report, Apple said, the requests sometimes accessed the sensitive data including emails, iCloud storage which has everything like photos, videos, contacts, calendars and complete backups. But Apple only provided content access to 32% of the US requests.
The major requests were made for phishing investigations however, there was the separate breakdown for requests concerning national security.
The report indicates the Legal processes for requesting user account data, Google broke down the data in the following manner:
“Tap and Trace” Orders or Pen Register Requests
49 percent of the requests were made in this category, this request allows to access users communication including dialed numbers and IP address in real-time.
35% more users were targeted with this process, these requests can be made without legal procedures, it is used to prevent death and physical harm to individuals.
35% more users were targeted under this, agencies must carry a search warrant and probable cause.
Targeted 18% more users, the most frequent type of request made by the US. This can be used to obtain information about IP addresses and the name associated with Google accounts.
Mr. Hosein said that the Policy changes in the US might result in more requests to the tech companies in the future.
“The new Policy made it mandatory for the people visiting the US will have to hand over their social media accounts and passwords for verification,” he told BBC.