Google has been disclosing government data request figures since 2010.
Though the report primarily covers criminal matters, Google said it cannot be sure that a request relates to a criminal investigation. For example, the report would also include, say, an emergency request from a government public safety agency seeking information to save the life of a person in peril even though there may not be a criminal investigation involved.
Google noted that it may refuse to produce information or try to narrow the request in some cases. "Whenever we receive a request we make sure it meets both the letter and spirit of the law before complying," the company said.
Sign up for Computerworld eNewsletters.