Government Requests For User Data From Big Tech Companies On The Rise - Report
The Surfshark research hub analyzed user data requests that Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft received from government agencies of 177 countries between 2013 and 2021.
"Governments request more user data than ever. The number of accounts requested increased more than five times from 2013 to 2021, with 2021 seeing a year-over-year increase of around 25%."
"While most requests relate to criminal investigations, information may also be requested in the context of civil or administrative cases."
"The US and the EU authorities request data the most. Both account for around 60% of all accounts of interest from 2013 to 2021. To compare the two, the US requested more than double the accounts per 100K people than all the EU countries combined."
"Companies comply with more requests every year. On average, each year saw a 56k increase in disclosed requests, growing from 127k in 2013 to 592k in 2021."
"Meta hosted the most accounts that interested authorities among all four companies (2.8M) - or two out of five accounts requested during this time (6.6M). Apple held the fewest requested accounts - 416K - or just 6% of total accounts of interest to authorities."
"The US tops the list with nearly 1 account per 100 people throughout 2013-2021. Looking at the top 10, five countries are from the EU. Singapore, the U.K., Australia, and Taiwan comprise the rest."
"On average, companies complied with 71% of user data requests between 2013 and 2021."