Amazon says, 750% increase in government demands for customer information


The e-commerce giant said it processed 27,664 information requests (excluding AWS) from different countries in the last six months of 2020 compared with 3,282 requests in the first half of the year.

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Government demands for customer information surged in the second half of 2020, according to a bi-annual information request report by Amazon.

The e-commerce giant said it processed 27,664 information requests (excluding AWS) from different countries in the last six months of 2020 compared with 3,282 requests in the first half of the year, an increase of nearly 750%.

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Amazon receives information requests in the form of subpoenas, search warrants, or court orders. According to the report, over 42% of the requests processed were from Germany, followed by Spain (18.8%), Italy (11.2%), and the U.S (11.1%).

Amazon Web Services (AWS), the company’s cloud computing platform, processed 523 requests in the second half of 2020. Nearly 75% of the requests were from the U.S., followed by Germany (8.4%), as per the bi-annual report.

The information disclosed by Amazon fall under two categories, ‘content’, that includes the content of data files stored in a retail customer’s account such as a customer’s photos, and ‘non-content’, that includes basic subscriber information such as name, address, email address, billing information, and date of account creation, Amazon noted in the report.

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In case of AWS, non-content information includes AWS service usage information, and content information includes the content that a customer transfers for processing, storage, or hosting in connection with AWS services and any computational results, it added.

Amazon processed 52 requests and AWS processed 15 requests with content information, while the rest were non-content disclosures, the company said.

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