Government requests for cloud customer data


Google Cloud helps businesses and consumers be more productive. Our users benefit from the 15+ years Google has spent designing, building, and operating a highly secure infrastructure: security and trust is at the center of every decision we make. That being said, customer and user data is stored with Google, and our customers and users want to know how we respond to requests from governments for access to their data. Like other technology and communication companies, Google receives requests from governments and courts around the world for such data, and this includes Google Cloud. Google understands that this is important and is committed to maintaining trust with both our users and customers by being transparent about how we respond to such requests.

How Google responds to government data requests

The customer is primarily responsible for responding to law enforcement requests relating to the customer's data; however, if Google does receive a government data request regarding a customer account, each request is reviewed using these guidelines:

  • Respect for the privacy and security of data you store with Google.

    When we receive a request, our team reviews it to make sure it satisfies legal requirements and Google's policies. Generally speaking, for us to produce any data, the request must be made in writing, signed by an authorized official of the requesting agency, and issued under an appropriate law. If we believe a request is overly broad, we'll seek to narrow it. Google has a trained team dedicated to these efforts.

  • Customer notification.

    Except in emergency situations involving a threat to life, it is our policy to notify the customer before any information is disclosed unless such notification is prohibited by law. We will provide delayed notice to users after a legal prohibition is lifted, such as when a statutory or court-ordered disclosure prohibition period has expired. This notification typically goes to the G Suite and Google Cloud customers' point of contact.

  • Consideration of customer objections.

    Google will, to the extent allowed by law and by the terms of the request, comply with a customer's reasonable requests regarding its efforts to oppose a request, such as the customer filing an objection to the disclosure with the relevant court and providing a copy of the objection to Google. For US government legal requests, if Google notifies the customer of the request and the customer subsequently files an objection to disclosure with the court and provides a copy of the objection to Google, Google will not provide the data in response to the request if the objection is resolved in favor of the customer. Other jurisdictions may have different procedures and are handled on a case-by-case basis.

Read more about Google's practices around government requests for data in our Government Requests for Cloud Customer Data whitepaper.

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