Yahoo says no to 34 per cent of Oz government data requests

Australian government had less luck than US seeking user data

Yahoo knocked back a third of government requests for user data by Australian government agencies, according to a transparency report released by the Internet company.

The Australian government made 704 requests for data to Yahoo about users from 1 January to 30 June this year, according to the Yahoo transparency report. The government requested data from 799 specific accounts.

Yahoo rejected 34 per cent of all requests in Australia. That figure was much higher than the US, where Yahoo rejected only 2 per cent of 12,444 total government data requests.

In Australia, Yahoo disclosed data created, communicated or stored by users for only 2 per cent of the requests. In 43 per cent of the requests, Yahoo disclosed only non-content data including data captured at user registration. Yahoo found no data in 21 per cent of the Australian requests.

“Our legal department demands that government data requests be made through lawful means and for lawful purposes,” Yahoo general counsel Ron Bell wrote on the Yahoo blog.

“We regularly push back against improper requests for user data, including fighting requests that are unclear, improper, overbroad or unlawful.”

The transparency report was Yahoo’s first; the company plans to release reports every six months. Google, Facebook and Microsoft have released similar reports.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU, or take part in the Computerworld conversation on LinkedIn: Computerworld Australia

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