Microsoft cops nearly 900 data requests from Aussie law enforcement bodies

Australian law enforcement agencies sent the company 887 requests for customer data in six months

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Microsoft received nearly 900 customer data requests about more than 1,000 users from Australian law enforcement bodies in the six months ending June 2019.

Twice a year, the software giant releases the number of legal demands for customer data that it receives from law enforcement agencies around the world.

In its latest report, released on 29 October, Microsoft has revealed that Australian law enforcement agencies sent the company 887 requests for customer data, specifying 1,118 users or accounts, during the first half of the calendar year. 

According to Microsoft’s report, 72.94 per cent of the requests were for non-content data, with 12.97 per cent of the requests from Australia rejected by the company. In 14.1 per cent of requests, no data was found.

Globally, during the first half of 2019, Microsoft received a total number of 24,175 legal requests related to its consumer services from law enforcement agencies globally, an increase from the previous six-month period, with 21,433 legal requests.

For enterprise cloud customers, defined as customers who purchased more than 50 seats, Microsoft received 74 requests from law enforcement agencies around the world in the first half of 2019.

Of the enterprise customer requests, 32 were rejected, withdrawn or law enforcement was successfully redirected to the customer to obtain the information they were looking for.

In 42 cases, however, Microsoft was compelled to provide some information in response to the order. In 22 of these cases, the company was required the disclose some customer content and, in 20 of the cases, it was compelled to disclose non-content information only.

According to Microsoft, the majority law enforcement requests it received during the six-months continued to come from just a handful of countries, including France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States. However, Australia contributed to the total, as did New Zealand, with nine requests about 17 accounts or users.

According to Microsoft, the Law Enforcement Requests Report encompassing the period from January to June 2019 remained largely consistent with previous reports.

In April last year, Microsoft revealed it had received 1,637 requests from Australian law enforcement bodies for the 12 months ending December 2017, with 1,169 requests resulting in some customer data being disclosed by the company.

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