Dropbox receives 268 data requests worldwide in the last six months

Dropbox has revealed it received 268 requests for customer data from government law agencies in the first six months of 2014 according to the firm’s latest transparency report.

The data shared represents a tiny number of Dropbox users

The file-storing site announced that in the first six months of 2014 it received 37 data requests from outside the US. This is despite foreign governments being required to file their data requests to a US court under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.

The biannual report also stated that Dropbox disclosed user-uploaded files 103 times, news which may concern the service's 300 million worldwide users regarding the privacy of their online content.

Additionally, subscriber information such as the name and email address used to register the account, the date of the registration and the users' access habits and IP address, was provided for authorities 80 times.

The firm also informed users when authorities tried to unlawfully request their information without the necessary court documents. Due to a gagging order the site was only free to announce that it received somewhere between zero and 249 national security requests.

Bart Volkmer, Dropbox’s legal counsel, said: “While that number is small compared to our 300 million users, we treat all the requests we receive seriously and scrutinise them to make sure they satisfy legal requirements before complying.

“We also push back in cases where agencies are seeking too much information or haven’t followed the proper procedures.”

Finally, the volume of data requests remained steady upon the same period last year, with data requests growing proportionately with the firm’s user base.

On the issue of online privacy, search engine Yahoo last week complained it was threatened by US authorities with a fine of $750,000 per week if it did not provide the agencies access to requested user data.

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