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Yahoo Comes Clean on the Data it Gives the Government

Tech MarissaMayer 300x219 Yahoo Comes Clean on the Data it Gives the Government

Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer

By Alexis Kleinman

Yahoo just released its first transparency report, and despite what the company wants you to believe, the U.S. government is looking at a lot of people’s data.

In the report, Yahoo says that the U.S. government requested “less than one-hundredth of one percent of Yahoo users worldwide.” Sure, 0.01 percent sounds small, but if you take into account a few more factors, that number gets scarier.

The U.S. was the No. 1 nation in terms of data requests, with 12,444 requests across 40,322 users. Yahoo disclosed 6,798 pieces of “non-content data,” or things like names, locations and IP addresses. It also disclosed 4,604 pieces of data that people created, like emails, Yahoo Calendar events and Flickr photos.

In total, Yahoo gave up 11,402 pieces of data, or almost 92 percent of the data requested. This data is just for the first 6 months of 2013. Though these figures represent a fraction of a percentage of Yahoo’s overall userbase, they certainly are not insignificant, especially given that this all happened in such a short span of time.

It is important to note, though, that Yahoo did not give up anyone’s data without a fight. Yahoo has been fighting the National Security Agency in a secret court since 2008, and was eventually forced to join PRISM, even though Yahoo argued that the data requests were unconstitutional.

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