Government requests for your personal data

The latest Google Transparency report makes a sobering read. It documents how governments are ordering Google to hand over user data (i.e. everything that Google knows about you, which is a lot*)

For per-country statistics for User Data Requests click here. Sample to pique your interest:

US authorities asked for the personal data of 16,281 users/accounts in the first six months of 2012. Google will not say exactly how many they handed over, but 90% is implied to be a reasonable estimate.

Citizens of other countries, please refer to the report before celebrating too much.

* Some things Google knows about you, and will continue knowing for the foreseeable future (remember, computers don’t forget what you clicked on 6 years ago):

  • Every email you have ever sent.
  • Every email you have ever received.
  • Every link you have ever clicked in an email
  • Everything you have typed in the Google “chat” box, and everything your chatting partner said.
  • Everything you have searched for on the web, while being logged in to your Google account.
  • Google maps
  • Picasa & Google albums
  • …and much more, even about your connections’ connections, to a surprising degree – check out your Google profile (note: you have to be logged in to Google for this to work) for more.