Microsoft Reveals User Data Requests By Law Enforcement Agencies In 2012

Last Friday, Microsoft announced that it had received around 418  requests to disclose information by the Indian Government in 2012. There were 594 user accounts that were specified in this request. This is the first time that the company has revealed such data. It plans to regularly release such data in its ‘Law Enforcement Requests Report’ to keep the service transparent.


Microsoft released a statement regarding the report,

“We believe we have a responsibility to respect human rights and the principles of free expression and privacy. As part of this, we are providing information on law enforcement requests we receive for customer data.”


Microsoft complied with 370 requests out of the 418 received which takes the compliance figure to around 88.5%. The company noted that it had released no content related data and all the requests its complied with only had subscriber and transaction level data. No content requests were complied with. Out of the total requests, 44 requests led to a dead-end as the company did not find any customer related data. A further 4 requests were not complied with because there was no legal basis for the requests. All the data released is inclusive of various services like Hotmail, Outlook, Skydrive and so on.

The data, however is not inclusive of Skype requests. The Indian Government send around 53 requests which targeted 101 users/accounts, out which Microsoft only provided the Government with data about 10 accounts. Out of the number of requests received, the company found that 47 of the accounts specified did not have any data.


Turkey (11,434) and the US (11,073) topped the list with the most of amount of requests received. However, the US (24,565) leads with the number of users/accounts specified in such requests. Other countries which have sent a significant amount of requests include UK, France, Germany, Australia and Brazil.

With regards to Skype, the UK (1268)  and the US (1154) sent the highest number of requests followed by Germany and France.

Full Report | Law Enforcement Requests Report, 2012

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