Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Google began capitalizing on law enforcement's request for user data this month, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: Big Tech giants like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Microsoft explicitly announce they might seek reimbursement for giving personal data to federal agencies and law enforcement, which they're legally entitled to do.

By the numbers: Google received more than 75,000 global requests for data in the first half of 2019, according to the Times. That's more than Microsoft, but way less than Facebook.

  • Microsoft received only 24,175 data requests from January to June last year. Microsoft says it rejected roughly 26% of those requests.
  • Facebook had more than 128,000 government requests for data in that same time frame, and complied about 73% of the time.
  • Google's "fees range from $45 for a subpoena and $60 for a wiretap to $245 for a search warrant," the Times reports.

Why it matters, per the NYT: "Some Silicon Valley companies have for years forgone such charges, which can be difficult to enforce at a large scale and could give the impression that a company aims to profit from legal searches. But privacy experts support such fees as a deterrent to overbroad surveillance."

What they're saying: Google's fees are partially meant to help offset costs of complying with subpoenas and warrants, a Google spokesperson told the Times.

Background: Microsoft's lawsuit challenging the Electronic Communications Privacy act — which Apple, Twitter and Amazon filed in support of — was dismissed by the Justice Department in 2017.

  • Microsoft said that the law, which allows governments access to customers' data, violates its customers' Fourth Amendment rights.
  • The DOJ countered that Microsoft can't argue on behalf of its customers' Fourth Amendment rights — only the customers can.

Go deeper: SCOTUS torn (again) between law enforcement, digital privacy

Go deeper

Updated 5 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 11,863,477 — Total deaths: 544,949 — Total recoveries — 6,483,402Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10:30 a.m. ET: 2,996,679 — Total deaths: 131,486 — Total recoveries: 936,476 — Total tested: 36,878,106Map.
  3. Public health: Deaths are rising in hotspots — Déjà vu sets in as testing issues rise and PPE dwindles.
  4. Travel: How the pandemic changed mobility habits, by state.
  5. Education: Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: A misinformation "infodemic" is here.
Updated 22 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Harvard and MIT sue Trump administration over rule barring foreign students from online classes

A Harvard Law School graduate on campus before attending an online graduation ceremony on May 28. Photo: Craig F. Walker/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Harvard and MIT on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security to block federal guidance that would largely bar foreign college students from taking classes if their universities move classes entirely online in the fall.

The big picture: Colleges, which often rely heavily on tuition from international students, face a unique challenge to safely get students back to class during the coronavirus pandemic. Some elite institutions, like Harvard, have already made the decision to go virtual.

Facebook auditors say it's failing on civil rights

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The findings from a new civil rights audit commissioned and released by Facebook show that the tech giant repeatedly failed to address issues of hatred, bigotry and manipulation on its platform.

Why it matters: The report comes as Facebook confronts a growing advertiser boycott and criticism for prioritizing freedom of speech over limiting misinformation and protecting users targeted by hate speech.