Marcio Jose Sanchez, Associated Press
Windows released its first ever disclosure of law enforcement requests, and they show that the government requested information from Microsoft users twice as often as it investigated Google users.
"The government sought information on Hotmail, Outlook, Skype and Xbox Live users more than twice as often as it sought to snoop on Google's users, according to the Windows giant's first ever disclosure of law enforcement requests.
Microsoft received 75,378 requests for customer information last year almost entirely from the U.S. government, the company revealed Thursday. In contrast, the government sought data on Google customers via subpoena, search warrant and other means about 31,000 times in 2012.
Microsoft produced detailed information on 1,558 customers, said Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president of at Microsoft.
"'In recent months, there has been broadening public interest in how often law enforcement agencies request customer data from technology companies and how our industry responds to these requests,' he wrote on the company's site. 'We seek to build further on the industry's commitment to transparency by releasing our own data today.'"