Compliance Management, Privacy

Microsoft creates new transparency website and releases fresh report

Microsoft launched its new transparency-centric website this past week along with its most recent transparency report, which covered the first six months of 2015.

The company received 5,940 law enforcement requests for user data in the U.S., which represented about 16 percent of the 35,228 total requests the company received from around the world. The U.S. requests specifically mentioned 13,570 accounts/users, and at least some data was turned over 66 percent of the time.

The numbers account for “all Microsoft services,” the company wrote, including Skype. As far as enterprise cloud customers, six requests were filed for 41 accounts associated with an enterprise customer. Three cases resulted in rejected requests or law enforcement being redirected to the customer. For another two cases, Microsoft provided information on four accounts. One case is still outstanding.

“We are hopeful that this data disclosure can better inform all sides in the critically important public discussion about how best to strike the balance between the privacy of our customers and the legitimate needs of law enforcement agencies that protect and serve their citizens,” the company wrote.

Its usual transparency report came accompanied with the company's first “Content Removal Requests Report,” which details government requests to take content down from its Bing search engine; Right to Be Forgotten requests; and copyright infringement requests.

The first six months of 2015 yielded 11 requests for content removal in the U.S., and Microsoft complied with them all. In Europe, the company received URL removal requests under the right to be forgotten ruling for 10,337 URLs and accepted 4,675 of those requests.

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