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Brazil: Google Is Making Us Look Bad
The AP reports that Brazil’s government has contacted Google’s representatives in that country for clarification about the numbers shown above — numbers that Brazil says give the country a bad name.
Google’s tool shows two kinds of numbers: Government requests for user data and government requests for content removal. The numbers cover requests made between July and December, 2009. In both cases, Brazil has made the most requests of any country. Its 291 content removal requests are more than 100 ahead of Germany, and its 3,663 user data requests are almost 100 more than the U.S.
In the AP story, Brazil’s prosecutor says most of its requests are about child pornography or racist content. But Google’s help documents say that the tool doesn’t include requests related to child porn.
Our policies and systems are set up to identify and remove child pornography whenever we become aware of it, regardless of whether that request comes from the government. As a result, it’s difficult to accurately track which of those removals were requested by governments, and we haven’t included those statistics here. We counted requests for removal of all other types of content (e.g., alleged defamation, hate speech, impersonation)
I suspect this won’t be the first international complaint about Google’s government requests tool; I also suspect that means Google considers the tool a success.