back to article Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the past six months

Microsoft has had a busy six months if its latest biannual digital trust report is anything to go by as law enforcement agencies crept closer to making 25,000 legal requests. Requests for consumer data reached 24,798 during the second half of 2020, up from 24,093 during the previous six-month period, and quite a jump from the …

  1. herman

    Poor Canary

    I guess their Warrant Canary is very dead by now.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Poor Canary

      Or maybe the Canary has just been stuffed and glued to the perch? It would cost more but there would be much less fuss about this if law enforcement just brought the data from Google, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

      1. Claptrap314 Silver badge

        Re: Poor Canary

        It's resting!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Angel

          Re: Poor Canary

          It's pining for the fnords.

        2. BPontius

          Re: Poor Canary

          Lovely plumage!

  2. Barrie Shepherd

    Would I be correct in thinking that if I submit a Subject Access Request to Microsoft/Google/Facebook etc. I should receive the equivalent of what Plod would receive if they made a Warrant request for my data?

    And if not what would justify the difference?

    1. Steve Aubrey

      My guess - IANAL - is that you'd get much less, if anything. You lack the force of the law.

      1. martyn.hare
        Happy

        My guess is you'd receive the same

        Otherwise, they'd risk being hauled over the coals in court should they fail to supply anything covered by GDPR. It's easier to show you everything than risk that you use the evidence law enforcement presented in a case against you, against them.

  3. Neil Barnes Silver badge
    Linux

    Microsoft browser history, anyone?

    <search> Firefox/Chromium download

    <download>Firefox/Chromium

    <end>

    Isn't that the traditional MS browser history? Or have things changed?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Microsoft browser history, anyone?

      Maybe they get a file name list from any user they want from w10 tools (you license it, not own it), and can remotely pull any data from W10 that you could locally. If that doesn't do it, they can ask goog/bing for a search history from your IP (duct tape, coliform, lye)

    2. NATTtrash
      Windows

      Re: Microsoft browser history, anyone?

      Had some fun with a W10 install in a non-network connected VM during the Easter days. Just playing around, and not being an MS user, wanted to have a look what all the fuss is about. That iso of W10 installed without any problems. However, when I wanted to clean it up a bit, like deinstalling One Drive (no net, duh!), Edge (no net, DUH!), things started to look less effortless. Sure, the icon disappears, but if you then run something like Piriform's CCleaner, it turns out that Edge is still started at boot. After you deinstalled it. That to me sounds very much like Google kind of practices, preventing $USER from hurting themselves and (gasp!) disabling telemetry...

      BTW, another thing that I noticed is that, yes, the "shine" might look all new (if you're into that kind of click until you're dead, zillion sub menu obfuscation flatness), but the stuff "underneath" (e.g. regedit, diskmgmt.msc, secpol.msc, services.msc) do look very much identical to when I saw it last time, some 20 odd years ago. So why are some so offended by the polished turd, or if you will, turd with a shiny coating remark?

    3. big_D Silver badge

      Re: Microsoft browser history, anyone?

      You'd need to delete Windows and Office as well, and not use any Microsoft cloud services... Your browsing history is the least of the problems.

  4. Claptrap314 Silver badge

    Honestly, that's not a whole lot.

    Do some checking on how many search warrants are served each year in the US. If the cops have reasonable suspicion that you've been a bad boy, I would expect them to search for evidence in all the places that evidence is likely to be.

  5. spold Silver badge

    Oh but don't forget....

    In the US, they can also order that you do not reveal that a data subject's information was requested and disclosed... so you can add on your guesstimate of how often that happened...

  6. sean.fr

    New install give away password

    A new retail Windows install pushes you to have the username and password processed by Microsoft.

    The local account option still exists, but is well hidden. Microsoft can be compelled to recover to the USA, anything Uncle Sam wants, even if it violates local laws. As people hand over the keys to the castle to Microsoft during install, thats almost everything on every domestic PCs sold in the last couple of years.

    1. hoola Silver badge

      Re: New install give away password

      My understanding is the it will be the data collected during the operation of Windows and any Microsoft stuff, possible some others depending on their interaction with the OS & Microsoft.

      It does not give them access to the actual data stored on the disk, if it is in OneDrive then probably not but with any cloud storage, who knows.

      What is said or advertised is not the same as what may happen if a request for access comes from the right agency.

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