Twice a year, Google issues Transparency Reports covering government requests for information. The latest figures covering July to December 2012 suggest that the Australian government is maintaining a steady pace when it comes to demanding data from the search giant.
During that period, the Australian government made 584 requests for user data, and 711 requests for information relating to user accounts. The corresponding figures in the first half of the year were 523 and 841. Google’s rate of compliance with those requests, 65 per cent, has remained consistent; it was 64 per cent in the first half of 2012 and 65 per cent in the second half of 2011. Australia represents less than one per cent of the total requests globally (21,389 user data requests and 33,634 user account information requests).
While previous instalments of Google’s Transparency Report have included data on takedown requests, Google says it will now publish that information in a separate report. That might also help explain the speed with which this report appeared, just two months after the figures for the first half of 2012.