Google reveals latest more detailed Transparency Report

June 27, 2011

Google has made its latest Transparency Report available online, which covers the period from July to December 2010. The company has also updated the report to be even more transparent (just in case it wasn’t see-through enough previously).

The Transparency Report shows how many times Google has been asked by the government or other organisations to remove web content, and how often it has been asked to provide data on users.

Google notes that it has now organised the report so you can view the statistics for individual countries, and it has also added more detail, giving the reason for content removal (for example, hate speech).

Finally, how often the search engine has complied with these various requests is now displayed as a percentage, to show just what action Google takes.

Google wrote on its blog page: “Our goal is to provide our users access to information and to protect the privacy of our users. Whenever we receive a request, we first check to make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying.”

“When possible, we notify affected users about requests for user data that may affect them. And, if we believe a request is overly broad, we will seek to narrow it.”

So what were the latest content removal stats for the UK? Well, our country topped the global chart with a massive 93,518 items which were requested to be removed.

However, the good news is that the vast majority of these, 93,360 of them, were requests from the Office of Fair Trading regarding the quashing of fraudulent adverts which linked to scams, all of which Google unsurprisingly complied with.

54 requests were made for the removal of images, 41 on defamation grounds and 13 for privacy and security reasons. 40 pieces of YouTube content came under fire, nine for privacy and security violations, and one because it was classed as hate speech, although 30 were simply filed as “other”.

There were 38 content removal requests from government and the police, whereas government requests for user data from Google totalled 1,162 – the latter figure being down from 1,343 in the first six months of 2010.

That still left us in fourth place for the most snooping government across the globe, behind India, Brazil, and the US way out in the lead with 4,601 data requests.

In the UK, Google complied either fully or partially with 72% of these requests from the government for user data.


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