According to Amazon, the number of user data requests made by U.S. federal and local law enforcement agencies increased more rapidly in the first half of 2020 than in the same period last year.
Disclosure was made in the company’s latest transparency report, which was released on Thursday.
The numbers show that Amazon received 23% more subpoenas and warrants, and the number of court orders increased 29% over the first half of 2019. This includes data collected from the Amazon.com retail store, Amazon Echo devices, and Kindle and Fire tablets.
Amazon split these numbers up and said:
- 2,416 subpoenas that flip all or part of the user data in 70% of the cases.
- 543 search warrants that pass all or part of user data in 79% of cases.
The number of requests to the company’s cloud services, Amazon Web Services, also increased compared to the previous year.
However, it is not clear why the U.S. government’s demand for user data has increased. A spokesman for Amazon replied to a request for comment.
The company saw a drop in international inquiries of around a third compared to the same period last year. Amazon rejected 92% of the 177 requests from overseas and in some cases submitted user data in 10 cases and all requested data in four cases.
Amazon also said it received between 0 and 249 national security requests, flat from previous reports. According to the Department of Justice’s rules on disclosure of classified requests, companies can only respond in numerical areas.
Amazon was one of the last major technology companies to issue a transparency report despite increasing pressure from data protection officers. However, the report remains far more detailed than its competitors in Silicon Valley.
The company’s intelligent ring camera division has not released data related to police requests for user data, despite criticism of its poor security practices and close relationship with law enforcement agencies.