Yahoo! jumped on the bandwagon of tech companies disclosing the number of requests law enforcement makes for user data this week.
In a post on Tumblr, Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer and General Counsel Ron Bell led off stating that it has "worked hard over the years to earn our users’ trust and we fight hard to preserve it."
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer speaks about the company's acquisition of Tumblr at a press conference in Times Square on May 20, 2013 in New York City. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
From December 1, 2012, to May 31, 2013, law enforcement made between 12,000 and 13,000 requests for Yahoo! user data, most frequently pertaining to cases of "fraud, homicides, kidnappings and other criminal investigations," according to the post. Of these, Yahoo! does not detail how many requests it was legally compelled to comply with, some of which were made through the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) that companies cannot reveal numbers for yet. Yahoo!, like Google recently, stated that it hopes the government will soon allow companies to disclose these numbers.
Following the lead that Google established for several years now, the Yahoo! executives stated that the company would begin issuing a biannual transparency report starting this summer.
"As always, we will continually evaluate whether further actions can be taken to protect the privacy of our users and our ability to defend it. We appreciate—and do not take for granted—the trust you place in us," the post stated.
Apple revealed the number of requests it has received from law enforcement this year on Monday -- it was between 4,000 to 5,000 requests. Facebook last week let users in on how often their information was requested -- in the last six months of 2012, it was between 9,000 and 10,000 requests made for between 18,000 to 19,000 user accounts.
The Facebook "like" symbol is illuminated on a sign outside the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. , Friday, June 7, 2013. A leaked document has laid bare the monumental scope of the government's surveillance of Americans' phone records hundreds of millions of calls in the first hard evidence of a massive data collection program aimed at combating terrorism under powers granted by Congress after the 9/11 attacks. The companies include Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook, PalTalk, AOL, Skype, YouTube and Apple. (Photo: AP/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
In the last six months of 2012, Google saw 8,438 requests from the U.S. Google announced a compliance rate of 88 percent at the time, which was down from previous reports.