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Reveals number and nature of data removal requests

Google releases new world transparency report

Internet giant Google published a new Transparency Report which discloses the nature and number of requests that world governments have made of Google with regards to removal of results or user data requests.

The latest report covers a period of July to December last year and new for this report is the percentage of user data requests that Google complied with. The report also categorises the requests into groups such as court orders or ‘executive, police, etc’.

"Whenever we receive a request, we first check to make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying," wrote Google transparency engineering chap Matt Braithwaite on the Google blog.

For each country Google has occasionally provided an observation on the removal requests. In the case of the UK, Google reported that the Office of Fair Trading had requested the removal of ‘fraudulent ads that linked to scams’, adding that the firm complied with the request and removed 93,360 items.

89 per cent of the removal requests were complied with in the UK, roughly in line with the figure in the US of 87 per cent. Most of the removals in the US related to a series of court orders granted in a defamation case against an individual.

Google’s Transparency Report map is here.

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