Government Requests For Google User Data Keep Rising

As reported by Google has tons of data about us.

That’s its business. We are its products – good little data-makers – which Google sells to its customers, the advertisers. As a huge storehouse of data about the public, Google is one of many Web services from which the federal government regularly requests user data. Social media investigations are the new wiretap.

How a Web company responds to government requests is a public test of its values, and users should take note. As we saw this month, Google handed over a WikiLeaks volunteer’s Gmail contacts and IP address in response to a court order under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986, which allows the government to demand this information without even notifying the user.


Electronic communications have changed a bit since 1986. They form a ubiquitous, always-on fabric of our lives now. Fortunately, Google isn’t any happier with the status quo than privacy-aware users are. It’s among a number of major Web companies pushing for better laws. And Google and other data-mining companies take their roles in public policy seriously. Both Google and Facebook’s lobbying efforts broke records this year.

Do you think Google is doing a good job on transparency? What would happen to this data if a breach occured?


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