Transparency reporting is getting trendy, guys. Yahoo announced today that it will release a transparency report for data requests from governments around the world — and we’re glad it is.
The company adds itself to the growing list of tech companies in Silicon Valley who want to share with users just who wants their data. Yahoo specifically says that it will include information about how it “processed the government data requests” it received during a period start January 1, 2013, ending June 30, 2013. It will also include how many accounts were affected by the data request.
Today’s report shows that the United States made 12,444 requests during this range. Yahoo gave over data in 11,402 of those data requests, denying 241 of the requests. It looks like the United States submitted the most data requests.
This is in keeping with companies such as Google and Twitter who release this kind of information regularly. Facebook also says that it will begin this process and recently released its first transparency report.
Google and others, however, are hitting back harder on the government for what kind of information can be printed in these reports. The government currently doesn’t allow companies to include how many data requests it receives under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. National security-oriented data requests are highly protected, though some national security letter data can be printed.
Yahoo has also sued the government for more of these rights, as the company explained in its announcement today.
This type of reporting has become even more important since former NSA-contractor Edward Snowden released information about a government surveillance program called PRISM. Citizens of the U.S. have been calling for more transparency around what kind of data the government is collecting about them, prompting the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper to release transparency reports on behalf of the U.S. government.
Yahoo promises that it will continue to publish transparency reports every six months.