Google consistently updates its Transparency Report to reflect its methods of keeping users’ data safe, and the company has continued this practice on Tuesday with the addition of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation information requests.
According to a new post on the official Google blog, law enforcement agencies can request access to Google users’ data. The FBI, for instance, can issue a National Security Letter to get identifying information from Google, but it can also limit the company from publicly revealing such requests.
Google, however, has found a way to publicly air the amount of NSLs it regularly receives:
Starting today, we’re now including data about NSLs in our Transparency Report. We’re thankful to U.S. government officials for working with us to provide greater insight into the use of NSLs. Visit our page on user data requests in the U.S. and you’ll see, in broad strokes, how many NSLs for user data Google receives, as well as the number of accounts in question. In addition, you can now find answers to some common questions we get asked about NSLs on our Transparency Report FAQ.
Google said it would annually report numerical ranges —instead of exact numbers— to help the FBI, Justice Department, etc., conceal numbers that “might reveal information about investigations.”