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Google Will Now Charge Law Enforcement Agencies For User Data Requests


User data requests by government agencies have increased immensely in the past. Google now believes it is time that the agencies started paying for the services. The tech giant says government agencies will now have to pay in order to obtain user data.

According to a Google Spokesman, the new charges will, in part, be used to offset the costs of complying with warrants and subpoenas.

Google will charge $45 per warrant, $60 for a wire trap, and $245 for a search warrant. The company has reportedly already sent the notice to law enforcement agencies to let them know of the new changes.

The company will be able to submit user data like emails, location history, and even search history upon payment. Other legal requests have also been priced accordingly, according to NYTimes, who had their hands on a copy of the notice.

However, the said charges are exceptional to cases involving child safety investigations and life-threatening emergencies, according to a Google spokesperson.

The move is legal, according to the U.S. federal law, it is pretty more comfortable to view it as a move to make more money. Google’s recent Transparency Report shows that legal requests for information in 2009 were less than 20,000, but that number hit over 165,000 last year.

The company also reported a 50 percent uptick in legal requests received in the first half of 2019 compared to the previous year.

Need to Worry?

Google’s policy mandates the company to notify its users via email in case a law agency requests their data unless prohibited by the law. Well, we have all given Google control over our information and once you’re in, it’s hard to get out.

Other big tech companies like Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter and Facebook also do submit our information upon request by the agencies. It is a hard move to delete yourself from the web if you think of it.

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Alvin Wanjala

Alvin is a freelance tech journalist. Talk to me via email at alvinwanjala[at]pm[dot]me

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