Google outlined the growing request for users’ data in its latest Transparency Report, and now the company has detailed just how it handles such requests when they start to trickle in.
The Internet Giant chiefly advocates for legislation, such as the U.S. Electronic Communications Privacy Act, that safeguards personal data online. When a government agency asks for users’ personal information, including Gmail messages, documents, photos, and YouTube videos, etc., Google makes sure the request is in writing, officially signed, and complies with the law.
Google also demands a search warrant before handing over data, verifies that requests are not too broad in scope, and then contacts its users about requests when not legally prohibited. Last, but not least, according to the official Google blog, Google works “hard to provide you with information” about government requests:
“Today, for example, we’ve added a new section to our Transparency Report that answers many questions you might have. And last week we released data showing that government requests continue to rise, along with additional details on the U.S. legal processes—such as subpoenas, court orders and warrants—that government use to compel us to provide this information.”
Google’s new FAQ section is available on the report’s Legal Process section, and it covers everything from why might government agencies request data to what users can do about the situation.