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Microsoft releases updated transparency report numbers

Microsoft has released the latest update to its biannual transparency report, giving a look at things like the number of government requests for information for the last six months of 2015. The latest report, however, marks the first time Microsoft has included details concerning the number of requests to remove nonconsensual explicit photos (opens in new tab) — otherwise referred to as revenge porn.

In all, Microsoft says that it received 537 requests to remove revenge porn photos or videos across Bing search results, OneDrive and Xbox Live in the last six months of 2015. Of the 537 requests, the company took action on 338 of those requests.

Microsoft also provided (opens in new tab) an interesting look at the number of government requests, stating:

  • Microsoft received a total number of 39,083 legal requests for customer information from law enforcement agencies in the second half of 2015. This reflects an increase over the 35,228 requests received for the first half of 2015.
  • Just over 2 percent of law enforcement requests resulted in the disclosure of content customers created, shared or stored on our services. Microsoft does not disclose customer content without a court order or warrant.
  • The passage of the USA Freedom Act enabled us to report Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests and National Security Letters (NSLs) in narrower ranges of bands of 500 versus 1,000. For the latest FISA data reported, Microsoft received 0-499 FISA Orders seeking disclosure of content impacting 15,500-15,999 accounts, which compares with 0-999 FISA Orders seeking disclosure of content impacting 18,000-18,999 accounts reported for the previous period. We received 0-499 National Security Letters in the latest reporting period versus 0-999 in the previous period.

One other interesting bit of information included in the report is the number of government requests for content removal across Microsoft properties like Bing, OneDrive and MSN. According to the latest report, the company says that it received a total of 217 requests from a total of seven countries, with China making up the lion's share at 165. In total, Microsoft says it complied with 188 of government removal requests.

If you're interested, you can check out all of the latest numbers via Microsoft's Transparency Hub (opens in new tab) for more.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the Editor in Chief for Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl. Got a hot tip? Send it to

  • Interesting. I didn't think there'd be so many government requests. The Windows Central Universal Application for Windows 10 Mobile on a Microsoft Lumia 640
  • Yea Sent from Lumia 550, HTC Desire 816 or Dell Inspiron 5122
  • Those numbers seem almost unbelievable.  39,038 in 6 months, so 6,506 a month, over 200 a day, including weekends and holidays?  You'd practically need a whole company in and of itself just to process and review that many requests, if done by humans and not automated.
  • It's insane. I wonder if these numbers are unique to Microsoft or if other large corporations show similar figures. The Windows Central Universal Application for Windows 10 Mobile on a Nokia Lumia 830
  • Not unique at all.  Other companies report similar numbers (Google's are even higher). Welcome to 1984.
  • Microsoft and transparency... The irony!
  • Off topic, but article titles are no longer wrapping correctly in the article list in the app Sent from my Toaster Oven (Lumia Icon)
  • It also pushes the comments count off the screen Sent from my Toaster Oven (Lumia Icon)
  • To me this happens if te app goes from landscape to portrait.
  • Ah, yeah that is the case here too. Sent from my Toaster Oven (Lumia Icon)
  • Let's hope this is fixed soon :)
  • At least they let us know what is happening . Can't say so much for google...
  • Saw the article headline and first thing I pictured was a report printed on a clear sheet of plastic tossed on an overhead projector.
  • 39,000 legal requests??? That's over 100 per day. That's gotta be several full time jobs just responding to these requests.
  • Man I almost got excited:"Microsoft releases aero transparency update" lol