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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Government demands for Amazon customer data rose 800% in 2020

Government demands for Amazon customer data rose 800% in 2020

Amazon fulfilled a record number of government requests for customer data in 2020, the company's latest transparency report shows.

The report details data requests, which Amazon does not process unless subpoenaed, submitted to the tech giant between July and December of 2020.

Amazon processed nearly 28,000 Amazon-only data requests and more than 500 AWS data requests in 2020 -- about an 800% increase compared to the first half of 2020, when the e-commerce giant processed more than 3,200 data requests, as tech news website TechCrunch first reported.

The German government requested the majority of Amazon data requests (11,735 requests), followed by Spain (5,209 requests), Italy (3,101 requests), the United States (3,060), the United Kingdom (1,181 requests) and France (857 requests).

The United States government requested the majority of Amazon Web Services (AWS) data requests (390 requests), followed by Germany (944 requests), France (27) and the U.K. (16).

The vast majority (99.8%) of data requests Amazon processed were non-content requests, which "mainly includes basic subscriber information (such as name, address, email address, billing information, and date of account creation), certain retail purchase history, and AWS service usage information," according to Amazon.

Content requests, which made up only 0.2% of the requests Amazon processed, "mainly includes the content of data files stored in a retail customer’s account (such as a customer’s photos) or, in the case of AWS, the content that a customer transfers for processing, storage, or hosting in connection with AWS services and any computational results."

Other big tech companies like Facebook, Google and Twitter comply with government requests for user data in line with national laws.


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