The web's biggest company is the go-to place for information on everyone
Privacy on the internet is a bit hard to come by, and sometimes it doesn't even take a hacker to get a company to give up your info. Google recently released an updated version of its "Transparency Report" — which details some of the company's inner workings — and it shows that the U.S. government has placed 6,32 requests for data on private users in just the first six months of 2011. Google complied with 93% of the requests. That number is up 37% from the previous six-month period.
It's unclear what, in particular, is the cause for the recent uptick in requests, but the reason may simply be that more and more people are placing their trust in web companies to store their data securely. Of course, Google can't hand over just anyone's data, and there are rules for each request. The company requires that all requests be sent in hard copy form, and must be related to a current criminal case — or small enough in scope — in order to be deemed legitimate.
The specifics of each request obviously aren't something Google can provide to the general public, but the company did confirm with Forbes that IP addresses are one of the bits of information the government sometimes asks for. If this information is unsettling to you, the most important step you can take is to keep as little of your personal information online as possible, and, of course, not catch the eye of the government in the first place.
This article originally appeared on Tecca
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