Google boasts over 1.17 billion unique visitors to its search site each and every month. That adds up to be about 292 million visitors a week. With such a large number of people visiting Google.com, most of them are going to be average Joe’s and Jane’s trying to figure out how to fix a car online or any other such task.
Given that information, it’s no surprise that over 95% of the privacy requests that Google has received have come from the general populace, and not from criminals who wish to erase their shady past, politicians who are taking a different stand than they might have in their younger years, or any other public figure who may need some documents erased. No, most of the requests have come from individuals who don’t necessarily have something to hide, but just value their privacy and don’t want certain records to be hanging out on the internet for everyone to see.
The search giant has generally been very transparent when it comes to releasing data to the public, but this was one instance that they had not yet quite figured out the best way to do so. They didn’t try very hard to hide it though, as the aforementioned stats were not given to us by Google itself, but by a lack of attention on Google’s part, as the information was discovered in the source code of the transparency report that Google releases to the public. Kind of ironic, if you think about it.
As of the time of writing, over 280,000 requests have been made to Google asking that they remove certain pieces of information on their site. The data leak only covered about two-thirds of that. Google has since gone in and removed all of the data from the source code but stated that they do intend to officially release the information that was leaked in the future. They stated that the holdback was due in part to them not quite knowing what the best way to release that information to the public is. With the recent data leak however, Google may just decide to go ahead and release it, as is, for everyone to see.