Spike in government demands for Amazon customer data

Daily  Mail

The company also experienced an uptick in interest for its cloud services, Amazon Web Services, which separately reported a 77 percent uptick in the number of subpoena requests over the last six-month period.

According to data released in the company’s latest report, Amazon’s response varied depending on the type of requests. 

For instance, when it came to subpoenas, the company was overwhelmingly apt to hand over either full or partial customer data — 1,505 out of 1,955 times or nearly 77 percent of the time.

Request from outside the U.S., however, saw just one full response from the company out of 270.

The report is a part of Amazon’s transparency process and is akin to others issued by big tech companies like Facebook. They are meant to give some insight into requests from law enforcement and government requests for user data.

Amazon first began issuing its transparency report in 2015 which made them the last major tech companies to hand over data on how its shares information with the government.

ZDNet noted that, at the time, Amazon was the last major Fortune 500 company to begin reporting on government requests.

In its policy, the e-commerce giant notes that ‘Amazon does not disclose customer information unless we’re required to do so to comply with a legally valid and binding order.’

Amazon has partnered more directly with law enforcement via its collaborations with Ring, which is owned by the company.

In its partnerships, the company provides Ring cameras with discounts or for free to police departments who then distribute the product to residents. Police then use the cameras to set up local surveillance networks.

While Amazon has seemingly increased its cooperation with the government as of late, the relationship between the company and regulators has been somewhat turbulent on the public stage.

Last week, the U.S. Justice Department opened up antitrust review of big tech companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Google. The probe will examine market power and competition, or lack thereof.


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