Microsoft received nearly 23,000 government data requests over the second half of 2017

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Microsoft received almost 23,000 requests for information from worldwide governments in the second half of 2017, with the majority of requests originating from the US, UK, France and Germany.

The US filed the highest number of requests at just a smidge below 4,000, but the UK, France and Germany weren't far behind with around 3,000 requests each. This is about 2,500 fewer overall than the previous period in 2017 and 16,000 fewer than when requests were at their highest in 2015.

Redmond rejected 17% of requests between July and December 2017 - its highest proportion of rejected requests ever - but that means it supplied the government with information about its users in 83% of cases. In the first half of 2017, it rejected 16.63% of requests.

The majority of the requests Microsoft allowed through were not content-related, and it handed details such as names and addresses (both physical and IP addresses) over to authorities. Only 4% of requests related to the content people were sending over its network, such as emails, documents stored in OneDrive or other information created by the users themselves, and it wasn't able to find the content requested in 17.32% of cases.

In the UK, Microsoft received 3,605 requests for information, relating to 7,112 users. However, none of the requests were for content. It rejected 9% of requests and couldn't find the information in 17% of cases.

The company also revealed details of Content Removal requests. Between July and December 2017, it received 625 in total, with 52 of these originating from the UK. Action was taken in 30 of the cases. China filed for the majority of removals, with 406 sent to Microsoft.

There were 19,151,385 copyright removal requests sent to Microsoft in the second half of 2017 and almost all were accepted.

Clare Hopping
Freelance writer

Clare is the founder of Blue Cactus Digital, a digital marketing company that helps ethical and sustainability-focused businesses grow their customer base.

Prior to becoming a marketer, Clare was a journalist, working at a range of mobile device-focused outlets including Know Your Mobile before moving into freelance life.

As a freelance writer, she drew on her expertise in mobility to write features and guides for ITPro, as well as regularly writing news stories on a wide range of topics.