Hong Kong: Tech giant Google reportedly supplied some users' data to the Hong Kong government last year, although it promised it would not process such data requests from authorities, reports media sources.
According to the Hong Kong Free Press, alongside other tech and social media giants last year, the firm announced that it would stop responding to any request for user information coming from the city's authorities unless they were made via the US Justice Department. The latest disclosure indicates a reversal in the company's position last year, the report said.
In response to HKFP's enquiry sent in May, the firm said that Google "produced some data" in response to three of the 43 requests it received from the Hong Kong authorities for information about users during the second half of last year.
As per the report, one of the requests it complied with was an emergency disclosure request involving a credible threat to life. The remaining two involved human trafficking -- they were unrelated to national security and were supported by search warrants signed by a magistrate as part of an investigation.
These requests were processed according to the company's global policy on government requests for user information, the tech giant said.
Google's general policy on responding to government requests states that it may provide other metadata, such as subscriber information including name, associated email and phone numbers, IP addresses, billing information, timestamps, and email headers. According to the tech giant, none of the responses included users' content data.