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Microsoft reveals police data requests for user information

The company said it will update its report every six months.

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft said it received 75,378 requests from law enforcement agencies globally in 2012 for customer information for services including Hotmail, Outlook, SkyDrive, Xbox and Office 365.

The company in its "2012 Law Enforcement Requests Report" revealed that the requests affected 137,424 accounts or other identifiers and only 2.1%, equal to 1,558 requests, resulted in the disclosure of customer content.

Out ff the 1,558 disclosures of customer content, over 99% were in response to lawful warrants from courts in the US.

The 14 disclosures of customer content made by the company to governments outside the US were to Brazil, Ireland, Canada, and New Zealand.

Of the 56,388 cases in which Microsoft (excluding Skype) disclosed some type of non-content information, more than 66% were to agencies in only five countries which include the US, the UK, Turkey, Germany and France.

Excluding Skype, Microsoft said it provided no information at all for about 18% of the requests.

Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith said in recent months, there has been broadening public interest in how often law enforcement agencies request customer data from technology companies and how industry responds to these requests.

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"Google, Twitter and others have made important and helpful contributions to this discussion by publishing some of their data," Smith added.

"We’ve benefited from the opportunity to learn from them and their experience, and we seek to build further on the industry’s commitment to transparency by releasing our own data today.

Microsoft said it will update the report every six months.

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