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Google Transparency Report Gets an Update

Makes it easier to spot trends

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Google has updated its Transparency Report. This was launched last September, showing the number of government inquiries for information about users and requests for Google to take down or censor content, as well as interactive traffic graphs showing info about traffic to Google from around the globe.

The latest round of data covers the second half of 2010, but they’ve also updated the design and added details. “We’ve highlighted some significant changes in the data and provided context about why those changes may have occurred during this reporting period,” says Google’s Matt Braithwaite. “We’ve also made it easier for you to spot trends in the data yourself. For example, we’ve changed the format so you can now see data on a country-by-country basis. We’re also clearly disclosing the reasons why we’ve been asked to remove content—such as an allegation of defamation or hate speech.”

Google updates transparency report

“For the first time, we’re also revealing the percentage of user data requests we’ve complied with in whole or in part,” adds Braithwaite. “This gives you a better idea of how we’ve dealt with the requests we receive from government agencies—like local and federal police—for data about users of our services and products.”

Google just released an update of its Transparency Report: http://t.co/oby0MV7 Learn which governments request the most info. 13 minutes ago via Tweet Button · powered by @socialditto

It is quite interesting to look at which countries have increased their respective numbers of takedown requests. From July to December 2010, Argentina increased its requests by 83% compared to the prior reporting period. Requests by Hong Kong jumped 80%. Australia increased by about 72%, but Google says this was due to a change in how the company categorizes requests for data (though did not specify).

Regarding takedown requests from Brazil, Google says, “During the Fall election period in Brazil, the number of court orders issued from electoral courts rose, ordering removal of content related to political campaigns. In addition, one court ordered removal of more than 11,500 photos from Picasa. The lawsuit alleged that the photos contained images of pages from copyrighted books.”

Google also says it saw a significant number of content removal requests from both Croatia and Denmark for the first time.

Here in the United States, six court orders resulted in the removal of 1,110 items from Google Groups, related to a defamation case.

All of these and other countries can be viewed here.

Google Transparency Report Gets an Update
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