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Finland More Successful than US at Obtaining User Data from Google

Google's campus-network room at a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

Google's campus-network room at a data center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. // Google/AP File Photo

Last week, Google released its latest transparency report showing the number of user data requests the company received in the first six months of 2014. Google says it fielded roughly 32,000 requests for information and complied (in whole or in part) 65% of the time.

Quartz looked at the numbers dating back to December 2010, which is when Google first started reporting the percentage of requests it granted. Since then, the US has greatly surpassed any other nation in the volume of requests submitted. But the number of users it has requested information about (62,709) is equal to just 0.02% of the country’s total number of internet users, based on World Bank data. For the remaining countries on the list of the top five requesters (India, UK, Germany, France) the percentages are virtually the same.

Quartz then looked at which countries were most successful at obtaining data from Google over the same time period.

The top nation was Finland, which has one of the highest internet penetration rates in the world. Google granted some portion of Finland’s user data requests 93% of the time in the period analyzed. Three of the remaining four nations—the US, UK, and New Zealand—are part of the so-called “Five Eyes” intelligence alliance, which dates back to World War II and was referred to in the NSA leaks last year.

Reprinted with permission from Quartz. The original story can be found here

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