Yahoo! has become the latest in a growing list of Internet companies which are issuing transparency reports to show the number and type of governmental requests for information are coming from. The report has found, as expected, that 42% of all the requests are coming from the government of the United States. The total number of requests from the US government was 12,444, concerning 40,322 Yahoo accounts.
These rates are in line with what other major Internet companies have reported earlier in the year, indicating that the US Government puts out requests to gather information from a wide range of different companies.
Yahoo’s report showed that 55% of these requests were answered with “Non-Content Data,” meaning they provided subscriber information captured when the user registered. This could include things like an alternate e-mail address, their IP address, location, name, login details, billing information and other types of non-content details. In 37% of the requests, they provided the full content which was requested by the government. Yahoo had no data to provide in 6% of the requests, and in just 2% of the requests they denied the government the information they sought.
This latest report is from the first half of 2013 alone, and helps to show just how many requests for information the government is issuing. Of course, this report comes at a time when the US Government is already under fire for data collection, so this will likely only serve to continue to upset those who are already distrustful of the government.
As far as marketers go, this report from Yahoo, and the many others like it from other Internet companies may be of particular concern. If people get to the point where they feel they can’t trust the data they provide online will be kept reasonably private, they are going to be less likely to provide it. This could affect sales and even marketing efforts over time.
What do you think about this report from Yahoo, and the others like it?
You can see the full report HERE.