Google Claims Government Requests for User Info Up 100%
Google has just released its transparency report today and its contents are staggering, if not unsurprising.
The report has revealed that international governments requesting information has increased by more than 100% since 2010. This is the third report of its kind over the past three years and Google has stated that the climb in the number of requests is due to more and more governments seeking to remove and censor content from its users. Types of content mainly include political stories and sources where these stories primarily appear within Google’s index.
The top three governments requesting information during the first six months of 2013 were the USA, India and Germany, coming in first, second and third respectively. US demand for information accounted for 83% of all requests for the same period.
What impact does this have on search?
In lieu of the PRISM scandal earlier in the year Google quietly made the change of encrypting huge amounts of search activity – except for ad clicks. At the time Google stated it was carrying this out to protect users’ data – and possibly to increase ad sales through its PPC ads.
With ‘not provided’ data ever increasing within organic data sets it is becoming increasingly more difficult to track real keyword data and the report released today will only make this more difficult as Google seeks to protect users information.