India 1st in South Asia on govt requests for user data from Big Tech firms

by IANS |

New Delhi, March 20 (IANS) India has been ranked first in South Asia based on government requests for user data from Big Tech companies, a report showed on Monday.

From 2013 to 2021, Meta and Google received the highest number of account requests from India, according to popular VPN service Surfshark.

India ranked seventh in all of Asia with 58.7 accounts requested per 100,000 people.

The research showed that globally, countries requested more than 6.6 million accounts combined during the 9-year period, while India requested 823,000.

The overall disclosure rate in India is 55.3 per cent, said the report.

Looking at requested accounts per population, India ranks 36th in the world based on the user accounts requested by authorities over this time period.

The number of accounts requested increased more than five times from 2013 to 2021, with 2021 seeing a year-over-year increase of around 25 per cent.

India shows the same trend, with a 1,476 per cent increase from 2013 to 2021. Requested accounts grew by 55 per cent in 2021 compared to 2020, the report showed.

In total, over 6.6 million accounts were requested in 177 countries from 2013 to 2021, with a steady increase in the latest years.

The US and the EU authorities requested data the most.

Apple complied with the most user data requests (82 per cent), compared to Meta, Google, and MicrosoftA (72 per cent, 71 per cent, and 68 per cent, respectively).

"Besides requesting data from technology companies, authorities are now exploring more ways to monitor and tackle crime through online services. For instance, the EU is considering a regulation that would require Internet service providers to detect, report, and remove abuse-related content," said Gabriele Kaveckyte, Privacy Counsel at Surfshark.

The research analysed the just-released information on user data requests that Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft received from 177 countries' local authorities between 2013 and 2021.

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