Google Inc. (GOOG) Reports Heavy Warrantless Surveillance

Just a day after Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) hit a home run with its quarterly earnings report, the company released its latest transparency report, which compiles information about user information requests to the company from various entities. And while the report does show the increased number of users on Google-affiliated sites,  the overall number of information requests continued to rise – and it got the attention of some privacy watchdogs.

In the most recent report, Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) revealed that it received more than 21,300 requests for user data between July and December 2012, with 68 percent of the 8,500 requests from the U.S. coming from subpoenas – also known as warrantless surveillance. The overall number of requests  was up about 2.2 percent from the first half of 2012. The overall number of requests was up about 25 percent over a year earlier.

Google Inc (GOOG)Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) reported that it complied with about two-thirds of all the requests it received during the year, and about 89 percent of the U.S. requests.

In response to the report, civil-liberty group Privacy International stated some concerns about the growing  number os requests, and the ease of the compliance of those requests. “Governments must stop treating the user data held by corporations as a treasure trove of information they can mine whenever they please, with little or no judicial authorization,” said Carly Nyst of the group, which says that it expects to publish a set of principles regarding surveillance and human rights, with the hope that governments would provide better online privacy protections.

What do you think of this report, and what do you think of these regular Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG)  transparency reports? We’d love your comments below.

DISCLOSURE: I own no positions in any stock mentioned.

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