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Microsoft Says It Received More than 35,000 Requests for User Details from Governments


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The number of rejected requests double this in H1

Microsoft has published new transparency reports to reveal the number of requests it received from law enforcement agencies for access to user information, saying that in the first half of 2015, only small changes have been recorded as compared to the last six months of 2014.

Overall, Microsoft received a total of 35,228 requests for customer information from law enforcement agencies, up from 31,002 requests in the second half of 2014, but the company says that the number of rejected requests double this time.

12 percent of the total number of requests have been denied because they didn't meet the legal requirements, Microsoft explained, which means that the final count increased from 2,342 last year to 4,383 in H2 2016.

What's also interesting is that out of all these requests, only 3 percent were actually seeking content created, shared, or stored on Microsoft servers and the software giant claims that unless a court order or warrant was provided, no private information was handed over.

The United States, the UK, Turkey, France, and Germany account for 72.7 percent of all total requests, it said. A total of 62,750 users or accounts have been included in the notifications received by Microsoft from governments across the world.

The right to be forgotten

Additionally, Microsoft has also provided the very first reports on requests received from European users under the right to be forgotten, asking the company to remove their details from search results.

Germany takes the leading spot here with 759 requests for the right to be forgotten, followed by the United Kingdom with 559. Content removal requests have also been issued by governments and China takes the top place with 165 such notifications.

Overall, it received a total of 3,546 requests in the first half of the year and Microsoft says that at least 50 percent of them have already been removed. Search results on Bing, and content OneDrive, Bing Ads, and MSN are in most cases targeted by such requests.


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