Google has just published some fascinating data, and a map, showing the numbers of requests from government agencies around the world to remove content from its services, or to provide information about users of its services and products.
According to this, the highest numbers of requests for removals of data between July and December 2009 were from:
- Brazil 291
- Germany 188
- India 142
- USA 123
Similarly, the highest numbers of data requests were from:
- Brazil 3663
- United States 3580
- United Kingdom 1166
- India 1061
I was surprised by the high figures for Brazil, but as Google note “For Brazil and India, government requests for content removal are high relative to other countries in part because of the popularity of our social networking website, orkut. The majority of the Brazilian and Indian requests for removal of content from orkut relate to alleged impersonation or defamation”. Likewise, in commenting on the high figures for Germany, Google comment that “A substantial number of the German removals resulted from court orders that relate to defamation in search results”.
Interesting observations indeed! It is good to see Google becoming more transparent in such matters.