Surfshark has released an in-depth report on governmental requests for user data to popular tech companies across the world.
This includes the most well-known tech brands such as Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Meta.
It also details their willingness to comply with these data requests and the numbers that are increasingly growing every year.
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Surfshark, TROYPOINT’s #1 Ranked VPN Provider, analyzed government requests for user data from 2013-2021 in 177 countries.
The results are fairly startling, showing that data requests were the most prevalent in the United States and Europe.
Requests for data continue to rise year over year, with over 1.5 million data requests in 2021 just for the 4 major tech companies.
The majority of these were sent to Google and Meta, with only a small fraction of requests for Apple and Microsoft.
This analysis also broke down the disclosure rate or the percentage of requests that were met by each company.
There are some interesting numbers when looking at the overall totals with an average disclosure rate of 71% between 2013 and 2021.
This number should be of concern for most people who use the internet. Over 70% of data requests from government sources were met by Apple, Meta, Google, and Microsoft.
What’s important to note is that although Apple saw the smallest number of requests, they were much more prone to comply with these, at an average rate of 81%!
While these numbers vary for each company, all four submitted user data for more than two-thirds of requests in the last 8 years.
Google and Meta have stayed fairly consistent with their level of compliance between 2013 and 2021.
However, Apple’s disclosure rate has steadily trended upwards, reaching over 85% in 2021.
Microsoft on the other hand continues to reduce their compliance rate, meeting only 55% of data requests in 2021.
Many will notice the absence of a key component of the Big 5 Tech Companies, Amazon, from this analysis.
Surfshark noted in their report that this was due to Amazon’s lack of and/or inconsistency in reporting user data disclosure practices.
Many of us use Amazon Firestick or Fire TV devices daily which makes this a concerning issue.
You can read the entire report from Surfshark at the link below.
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