Pinterest reveals number of requests for government data

March 10
6:07 AM 2014

Pinterest has released its transparency report on the number of requests it has received for user data, VentureBeat reported.

The site, used by people to gather and share the things they like on the Internet, revealed that from July to December last year, it got warrants and subpoenas for 13 user accounts. Pinterest received 7 warrants, 5 subpoenas and 1 civil subpoena for these accounts, the report said.

Quantcast data shows that Pinterest receives over 61 million unique visitors each month, making the number of requests received very small. However, the fact that it has received requests is an indication that US government agencies look at Pinterest as a reservoir for data. Pinterest is following the lead of tech giants like Google, Facebook and Twitter in posting the number of requests it gets from governments but what differentiates them from the other tech firms is that they receive a far fewer number of these requests, the report said.

According to Pinterest, nearly all of the inquiries they received or 11 out of 12 requests in the covered period were from state or local agencies. Four requests came from California with Florida and Utah making two requests each. New York, Oregon and Wisconsin made one request each, the data showed.

Moreover, Pinterest said that out of the 12 requests, they notified nine users about the request for information. For the remaining three cases, they were prohibited by law from informing the user that a request was made. However, no request was made that had to do with national security under the US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the report said.

Foreign governments don't seem to look at Pinterest as a goldmine of data because none of the requests were made by another country. The platform does have plans to expand operations abroad, however, so when it does, perhaps foreign countries might take notice which could be seen in its succeeding publication about the matter, VentureBeat reported.

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