“Publishing this information is an important milestone in our efforts to increase transparency and eliminate the general uncertainty about how often governments come to Google to request access to corporate data from customers,” said Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO , in a short blog post.
In the same post, Google describes five new principles that the company will use to drive its government advocacy efforts. As part of the new principles, Google is calling on governments to contact companies directly if they want to access their data. Similarly, jurisdictions should promote transparency efforts, including those adopted by cloud service providers such as Google, as well as government efforts.
The company will also urge governments to give companies a clear path to challenge all data requirements. In addition, Google will continue to support policies that promote the creation of better security technologies. Last but not least, Google will support initiatives that seek to modernize existing policies. However, we have not yet seen how Google put its new pillars into action.
Over the years, Google has tried to make its transparency reports more useful to the public. In 2017, the company redesigned the documents to make them more legible. At the time, Google said it had started the redesign because it saw how “they can help inform and shape the public debate on online information.” It is likely that the same thought has inspired the company’s recent efforts.