For civil, administrative, criminal, and national security purposes, a range of laws enables government agencies worldwide to request user information from Google.
Recent findings by Atlas VPN revealed that these requests have been steadily growing in the past five years. In the first half of 2020, Google reported a record number of applications for the disclosure of user information.
The number of requests grew by 17,847, comparing the first half of 2020 to the second half of 2019, representing a 21% increase. Moreover, the number of internet users affected by these requests jumped from 175,712 in 2019 H2 to 235,449 in 2020 H1, amounting to a 34% surge.
Figures dating back to 2016 reveal that in less than five years, the number of requests for internaut information shot up 2.31 times. Google approves 76% of requests.
Not only is the number of requests growing, but Google continues to approve a higher percentage of these requests continuously since the second half of 2016.
In the “Requests for user information FAQs” Google states that they always try to negotiate with the agencies to provide as little information as possible. However, the truth is that users do not know how hard the tech giant fights to protect this sensitive data.
The search engine monopoly approved 76% of requests for the disclosure of their user information in the first half of 2020.
Rachel Welch, COO of Atlas VPN, shares her thoughts on the state of privacy in the year 2021:
“Worldwide, almost all governments are increasing their attempts to collect and access data by tracking private citizens, seeking permission to use corporate-collected data, or collecting foreign government information.
With the increase of internet usage due to the pandemic, the current state of users privacy is tremendously troubling.”