Microsoft has announced that just over 37,000 total requests, from five major countries, have been sent to them regarding collecting user data about their customers.

The governments that are requesting this type of data, not only from Microsoft, but other companies as well, are The United States, Turkey, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The requests are for the first six months of 2013 and affect a total of 66,539 user accounts. It’s a large number, indeed, but the numbers are on track from last year’s statistics in which Microsoft received 75,378 requests affecting 137,424 accounts.

Microsoft held strong and responded to the governments, saying that they will not give up a single bit of data unless forced to do so. Microsoft did, however, willingly fulfill around 29,000 requests in what they are referring to as “non-content data”. Basically, this is data that is related to a user’s account activities rather than data from the user’s account.

Microsoft had this to say in their reports and statements:

"While we believe that had some value in quantifying the overall volume of requests we received, it is clear that the continued lack of transparency makes it very difficult for the community—including the global community—to have an informed debate about the balance between investigating crimes, keeping communities safe, and personal privacy.”

"For example, we believe it is vital to publish information that clearly shows the number of national security demands for user content, such as the text of an email. These figures should be published in a form that is distinct from the number of demands that capture only metadata such as the subscriber information associated with a particular email address. We believe it's possible to publish these figures in a manner that avoids putting security at risk. And unless this type of information is made public, any discussion of government practices and service provider obligations will remain incomplete.”

The United States took legal action against Microsoft, forcing them to fulfill around 800 requests. These requests, mind you, did contain actual information found in the users’ accounts.

Currently Microsoft is in a lawsuit to attempt to gain additional permissions for publishing information about various government orders that they received for their customers' data.

I am very happy to see that Microsoft is standing strong in the fact that they refuse to give in in any way possible. Companies like Google gave in within seconds by allowing full government access into users' Google Drive accounts, let alone selling users’ information. Hopefully Microsoft will win their lawsuit and continue to stay strong.