According to the bi-annual transparency report, Amazon responded to a record high number of data demands from the government during the second half of the last year 2020. The transparency report has been published by Amazon on its official website.
The company said that it processed almost 28,000 government demands for the user data during the second half of the year 2020. A significant jump from a little over 3,200 data demands during the first half of the year 2020, a whopping increase of almost 800%. Included in the user data are the searches for online shopping and data from its Echo, Fire, and Ring devices.
There has been a change in the way the company presented their data on the latest disclosure in comparison to the previous transparency reports. In the latest report, the company breaks down the countries that have the most requests.
Germany tops the data demands surpassing US
Normally, the US authorities made up the biggest chunk of the overall data demands from Amazon, but the latest disclosure shows Germany surpassing the US with 42% of all processed requests. Followed by Spain with 18%, and both Italy and the US come third with 11% of the total requests each.
The latest report also gets rid of the analysis by legal process, and instead, it only differentiates the gathered requests between the user’s content and the non-content. Amazon said that it delivered the user content data in 52 cases.
According to the spokesperson of Amazon, the company does not say what triggers the spike in the data demands. As the usual practice, Amazon does not give any comments on its transparency disclosures.
The report from Amazon focuses more on how they respond rather than on the data itself
Amazon’s transparency report usually comes with just three pages in length, the lightest materials among the giant tech companies. And the transparency report gives more weight to show how the company responds to the data demanded rather than explaining the data itself. It has been known that the company is notorious for keeping secrets, that is why it is understandable that it became the last to give out its transparency report in 2015 amongst the major giant tech companies.
While most of the tech companies are adding data to their transparency disclosures, like takedown notices and account removals, Amazon on the other hand does the opposite by removing data from its reports. Amazon does this in spite of the company’s growth and expanding reach to the millions of homes.
A report from the Financial Times said that Ring’s video doorbell and home security startup company was bought by Amazon for $1 billion. The Ring currently has 2,000 law enforcement agency partners across the United States, allowing the police departments to have access to the homeowners’ doorbell camera footage.
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