Law enforcement agencies requested info on 34,000 Microsoft users in past 6 months

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SEATTLE — Microsoft released information today on the number of demands they have received from law enforcement agencies for customers’ data, detailing the numbers as part of an effort from tech giants to give consumers more information on data mining.

According to the data released by the Seattle-based company, Microsoft received more than 34,000 requests from law enforcement agencies across the world for customer data from January to June 2014.

Of those, the company disclosed full information such as a user’s emails, created documents and correspondence for less than 1,000 requests. Microsoft disclosed partial, subscriber and transactional data such as names and addresses for around 25,000 of the requests. The company also denied any access to around 2,000 requests.

Cases where the company released full information were a direct result of court orders or warrants received, Microsoft said.

Law enforcement agencies based in the U.S. made up nearly 7,000 of the total queries for customers’ data, Microsoft said. Around 13 percent of those requests were denied outright.

The company received around 35,000 requests across the board from July to December 2013, the previous six month period.

Microsoft began releasing request numbers in March 2013 as “part of our commitment to increased transparency,” the company said.

“We believe that our customers deserve and need to understand our policies, and the extent to which law enforcement requests impact our users,” the company said. “We also believe that this kind of increased transparency may help advocates and policymakers better arrive at an appropriated balance between public safety and customer privacy.”

The records are updated every six months.

The company also publishes the number of requests received from the U.S. Government allegedly pursuant to national security laws. Those reports can be found here.

Examples of companies releasing information to law enforcement agencies have come into the spotlight recently since the breathe of the government’s over site on personal data was first reported on by Glenn Greenwald and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.



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