Microsoft releases biannual digital trust reports

Microsoft has released its latest biannual digital trust reports on the Microsoft Reports Hub. These reports consist of the Law Enforcement Requests Report, U.S. National Security Orders Report, Content Removal Request Reports and our new Digital Safety Content Report. We have also now aligned the latest Microsoft Privacy Report with the release of this larger group of reports.

We continue to strive toward building and maintaining trust in technology, and we know that transparency is a key component to that trust. Our digital trust reports are intended to help our customers understand how Microsoft responds to government and law enforcement requests for data and for content removal, and the steps we take to protect our customers and their data.

When Microsoft receives a law enforcement request – from any government – we review the request to ensure it is consistent with controlling law and our Microsoft principles. We disclose customer data only in response to a legally valid warrant, order or subpoena and only after we confirm the request specifies specific accounts or individual identifiers. We object to improper legal demands — even through litigation when necessary.

Please also visit our Data Law website for more information about Microsoft’s principles, policies and procedures for responding to government requests for data.

Law Enforcement Requests

Requests for consumer data:

  • During the first half of 2020, Microsoft received a total number of 24,093 legal requests related to our consumer services from law enforcement agencies around the world, which is an increase from the previous six-month period where we saw 21,781 legal requests.
  • A majority of the law enforcement requests Microsoft received during this period continued to come from a handful of countries including France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Specific to Unites States law enforcement, Microsoft received 5,507 legal demands for data related to our consumer services.

Requests for enterprise customer data:

  • In the first half of 2020, Microsoft received 91 requests from law enforcement around the world for data associated with enterprise cloud customers (defined as customers who purchased more than 50 seats).
  • In 42 cases, these requests were rejected, withdrawn or law enforcement was successfully redirected to the customer to obtain the information they were seeking.
  • In 49 cases, Microsoft was compelled to provide some information in response to the order: 24 cases required the disclosure of some customer content, and in 25 of the cases we were compelled to disclose non-content information only.

U.S. National Security Orders

The U.S. National Security Orders Report, which encompass the period from July to December 2019, is largely consistent with the previous reports:

  • For the latest Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) data reported, Microsoft received 0-499 FISA orders seeking content disclosures affecting 14,500-14,999 accounts, which is an increase from the previous period where disclosures affected 14,000-14,499 accounts. We received 0-499 National Security Letters in the latest reporting period, which is unchanged from the previous period.

Content Removal Requests

The latest Content Removal Request Reports details acceptance rates regarding requests received from governments, copyright holders and individuals subject to the European Union’s Right to be Forgotten ruling.

Digital Safety Content

The Digital Safety Content Report we are releasing today covers actions that Microsoft has taken in relation to child sexual exploitation and abuse imagery (CSEAI), terrorist and violent extremist content (TVEC), as well as non-consensual intimate imagery (NCII) that we are moving over from the Content Removal Request Report where it was previously categorized as non-consensual pornography. Microsoft will continue to invest in reporting and transparency coupled with ongoing technology innovation to support our digital safety operations. We continue to take steps to ensure that our platforms and services remain safe and welcoming to everyone while respecting people’s right to privacy and freedom of expression.

Microsoft Privacy Report

Starting today. we will also begin aligning the Microsoft Privacy Report with the release of the other transparency reports discussed above. We announced this report in 2019 as part of larger efforts to provide customers increased transparency and control over their data. The latest report can be found here.