The Indian government and law enforcement agencies made 321 requests to Microsoft to disclose customer details across 515 user accounts in the first 6 months of 2013, Microsoft said on Saturday. The disclosure comes after Internet companies like Twitter, Facebook and Google have published similar transparency reports.
The company, which published a transparency report to disclose the number of user information requests it received in 2013, said that it disclosed subscriber/ transactional data in nearly 80% of the cases.
According to the Microsoft transparency report 2013 India, of the 321 requests, 43 were made for Skype data and the rest for other Microsoft products.
In July, after many companies were widely criticized for allegedly providing back door entry to law enforcement agencies to access customer data, Microsoft had petitioned the US attorney general to permit the company to share more data on requests for customer information.
In August, Twitter said that Indian government made less than 10 user information requests to it and wasn’t given any of the data it asked for. In its first transparency report published in August, Facebook said while US stands at #1, India takes the #2 position for sending the most number of data requests to the social network. In 3245 requests, India asked for information on 4144 users or accounts on Facebook. In April, Google which has been publishing such reports for a long time, said that there was a 90% increase in content removal requests from the Indian government.
Microsoft (including Skype) received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies potentially impacting 66,539 accounts in the first six months of this year. This compares to 75,378 requests and 137,424 potential accounts in the whole of 2012.
Approximately 77 percent of requests resulted in the disclosure of “non-content data”. No data at all was disclosed in nearly 21 percent of requests, Microsoft said.
In the United States, law enforcement agencies made nearly 8000 requests spanning 22316 accounts. Over 80% of times, subscriber/ transactional data for Skype was given to the authorities while in 65 % cases, similar data was provided for other Microsoft products.