SurfShark recently revealed a report that delved into user data requests received by Apple, Google, Meta, and Microsoft from governments in 177 countries between 2013 and 2021 – and it’s startling! The research uncovered that the majority of these inquiries were met with compliance by Big Tech. Of the four mentioned companies, Apple complied most often (82%), while Meta, Google, and Microsoft followed close behind (72%, 71%, 68%) respectively.
The US was highlighted as having an astonishing request rate per 100k people compared to other nations – with Germany coming in at second place and the UK at fourth. Interestingly, the UK had seven times more user data requests than the global average. The top 10 were illustrated as five countries from the EU, plus the US, Singapore, Australia, and Taiwan.
It seems all too clear why governmental entities are increasingly seeking out this data: over the span of eight years from 2013 to 2021, there has been a fourfold increase in accounts requested. This is likely due to the surge of online crime and need for digital proof in criminal, civil, and administrative cases. All kinds of details can be collected including IP addresses and device locations.