If the feds come knocking on Google's door asking for your data, what does Google do? It tries to strike a balance between protecting you and obeying the law. Here's how it works, according to Google's legal team:

  • First Google makes sure the request for your info is actually legal.
  • The company then analyzes how broad the request is. Asking for too much? Google will either outright refuse it, or ask that the agency making the inquiry narrow it.
  • Google lets you know that someone is after your data, so you can seek legal counsel.
  • Google requires a search warrant.
  • And finally, Google has made information available online about how it handles these requests, in the name of transparency.

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It's safe to assume that not every case is this cookie-cutter, but it's comforting to know that Google doesn't just sell you down the river. [Google Blog]

Image credit: Shutterstock/Tischenko Irina