Uptick in data requests from France following Paris attacks, transparency report shows

Yahoo's latest transparency report showed that data requests from France increased following Paris attacks.
Yahoo's latest transparency report showed that data requests from France increased following Paris attacks.

Yahoo received an increase in the amount of data requests from France following the terrorist attacks in Paris, last year.

The tech company said that between July and December 2015 there were 1,686 government data requests for information on 1,966 specific accounts compared to 1,008 government requests from on 1,147 specific accounts between January and June 2015, according Yahoo's latest transparency report.

During the same time periods in 2014, there were 1,141 government requests on 1,407 accounts between July and December and 1,236 requests on 1,529 accounts between January and June, the report said.

Yahoo rejected 60 percent of France's requests for data and no data was found in 193 of the requests in the last half of 2015.  

Yahoo's Head of Global Law Enforcement, Security & Safety Chris Madsen told SCMagazine.com this could “potentially be an instance of a transparency report showing a change in government behavior in response to an event.”

He said the fact that the change in behavior was noticeable showed the value of the reports in revealing how government interacts with user data.

Madsen said transparency reports can expose the inverse of government action as well.

He said it's worth noting that the number of data requests from the U.S. government has steadily declined since Yahoo began its user notification policy in 2013 to inform users when their data was requested.

In other news, Yahoo has taken a step toward its mission to “kill the password” with its new Account Key.

“Passwords can be a hassle - they're easy to lose track of and forget, or they are weak passwords that are vulnerable to hacking,” Yahoo Product Manager Lovlesh Chhabra said in a company blog.

When a user signs into Yahoo Finance, Fantasy, Mail, Messenger, and Sports for iOS or Android they will receive a push notification on their mobile phone to approve the login. Once that's tapped, a user will be signed in immediately, the blog said.

Yahoo said the new method is secure without the need to remember a password. 

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