Microsoft details takedown requests in expanded transparency report

Overall requests for data from Microsoft's services have grown

In response to growing government demands for data, tech companies have been detailing those requests in transparency reports that elaborate on what gets done when government agencies come calling for users' data.

Microsoft just released the latest incarnation of its data on Wednesday, including a new report on requests to get information taken down from the company's services.

Those requests, unsurprisingly, are focused on Bing, since it's the Microsoft service most responsible for displaying data to the public. That said, takedown requests came for includes other services, too, such as MSN and OneDrive.

The company's report breaks those requests down into three categories: first, takedown requests based on alleged violations of local laws and Microsoft's terms of service; then copyright takedowns, and finally, takedowns performed as the result of "right to be forgotten" requests in Europe.

China filed 165 takedown requests, almost eight times as many as all other countries combined.

By category, copyright takedown requests were by far the most common worldwide, with Microsoft receiving more than 1 million total requests to remove links from Bing that people claimed infringed on their copyrights. They're also the farthest reaching: Microsoft will take down an infringing piece of content everywhere in the world, while other types of content described in the report are removed only in one country or region.

The report seems to point toward Bing's continuing relevance to Microsoft's business. Especially now that the company's search engine is powering its Cortana digital assistant across Windows 10, Android and soon iOS, big takedowns could have significant consequences on how people use Microsoft's products beyond the bing.com search interface.

Aside from takedowns, Microsoft saw 35,228 requests for information from law enforcement, up from 31,002 in the second half of 2014. The company also became more strict in how it dealt with those requests, rejecting 4,383 for not meeting its legal requirements, nearly twice as many as it did in the last half of 2014. Only 3 percent of the law enforcement requests resulted in Microsoft handing over content from its services that users stored, shared or created.

Requests for information under U.S. national security laws didn't change much. Microsoft received fewer than 1,000 requests for data from fewer than 19,000 accounts, down from a similar number of requests that involved fewer than 20,000 accounts. (Microsoft is only able to report requests in bands of 1,000.)

All this comes amid more discussions about the role of government in digital life. Microsoft is fighting a lawsuit from the U.S. government asking the company to turn over data that's stored in a data centre in Ireland.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?