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 Requests Report, and Digital Safety Content Report. We are also releasing the latest Microsoft Privacy Report with this larger group of reports.

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

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.

The Law Enforcement Requests Report encompassing the period from July to December 2020 remains largely consistent with previous reports:

Requests for consumer data:

  • During the second half of 2020, Microsoft received a total number of 24,798 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 24,093 legal requests.
  • A majority of the law enforcement requests Microsoft received during this period continued to come from a handful of countries, including Brazil, France, Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States.
  • Specific to Unites States law enforcement, Microsoft received 5,682 legal requests for data related to our consumer services – an increase from the previous period where we received 5,507.

Requests for enterprise customer data:

  • In the second half of 2020, Microsoft received 109 requests from law enforcement around the world for data associated with enterprise cloud customers (defined as customers who purchased more than 50 seats).
  • In 69 cases, these requests were rejected, withdrawn or law enforcement was successfully redirected to the customer to obtain the information they were seeking.
  • In 40 cases, Microsoft was compelled to provide some information in response to the order: 19 cases required the disclosure of some customer content, and in 21 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 January to June 2020,  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 14,000-14,499 accounts, which is a decrease from the previous period where disclosures affected 14,500-14,999 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 Requests Report details acceptance rates regarding requests received from governments, copyright holders, individuals subject to the European Union’s “Right to Be Forgotten” ruling.

Digital safety content

The Digital Safety Content Report 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). We continue to take steps to ensure that our platforms and services remain safe and welcoming to all users with respect to their rights to privacy and freedom of expression.

Microsoft Privacy Report

As part of our continuing efforts to provide customers with increased transparency and control over their data, we are also releasing our biannual Microsoft Privacy Report today. The Privacy Report includes information about how we collect personal data and important privacy updates that enable customers to make informed choices. The April 2021 report highlights channels available for our customers to manage and control their personal data, including through the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard and the privacy controls within Microsoft Teams.

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 requests for data and for content removal.