Microsoft provides details on law enforcement requests for user data

by Chris Morran, Consumerist

Microsoft reveals in a new transparency report that between all of its online services ‘ including Hotmail,, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Account, Messenger, Office 365, and Skype ‘ it received more than 75,000 requests from law enforcement agencies around the world in 2012.

Since some requests involved multiple accounts, Microsoft says that authorities made inquiries about a total of 137,424 accounts last year.

According to the info released by Microsoft, 18% of these requests resulted in no disclosure whatsoever, though nearly all of those cases (93.3%) fall under the ‘No Data Found’ heading, while a a small fraction of requests were rejected for not meeting legal requirements.

Around 4-in-5 requests resulted in what’s described as ‘non-content information’ being provided to authorities. This can include such data as the user’s name, billing address, and IP history, but would not include any disclosure of things like e-mail text or subject lines, stores images, address book and calender entries.

For those, Microsoft requires a court order, which is why almost all international requests did not result in content disclosures. In fact, of the 1,558 requests that led to disclosure of users’ content, 1,554 of them were made by U.S.-based law enforcement.

In all, Microsoft says that law enforcement requests only represented around .02% of its entire user base last year.

You can get more details and the full report on