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Google wants better international rules for data requests

The internet giant says more than two-thirds of government requests for data from its services come from outside the US.

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Google's logo.
Google

We know governments send requests to Google for our data. We know they sometimes get a court order, and they've even done so secretly.

And though Google puts out a semiannual transparency report giving us a broad sense of how often governments are asking to access private data of its users, Google says a new problem has cropped up: The number of requests from governments outside the US is growing.

In fact, Google said the more than 45,000 requests it received in the second half of last year were the most ever, and that over 31,000 of those requests came from outside the US.

"This volume underscores the need for an improved international framework that meets legitimate law enforcement needs and ensures high standards of due process, privacy and human rights," Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president and general counsel, wrote in a blog post. "Without better and faster ways to collect cross-border evidence, countries will be tempted to take unilateral actions to deal with a fundamentally multilateral problem."