AOL's Commitment to User Privacy
Jun 18, 2013
At AOL, we are vigilant about protecting our users' privacy. In the interests of providing a greater level of transparency regarding US Government demands for data, we sought and have obtained approval from the US Government to release the following data.
Over the six-month period from December 1, 2012, through May 31, 2013, AOL fielded in the range of 2000 to 3000 demands for user information from U.S. law enforcement at all levels, affecting in the range of 5000 to 6000 accounts. These demands for user information related to both criminal and national security matters and only impacted a tiny fraction of our users.
As we have previously stated, AOL does not provide any government agency with access to our servers. Also, AOL has not received the types of untargeted requests for business records that others reportedly have received.
AOL has only responded to lawful process relating to specific accounts. AOL scrutinizes each government inquiry to ensure strict compliance with legal obligations and rigorous protection of our users' privacy. We guard against overreaching by law enforcement and against overproduction of information. We produce the narrowest amount of data that allows us to comply with our legal obligations.
We will continue to operate with the utmost integrity to preserve the privacy of our customers' information and respect our legal obligations. We also believe that transparency on these issues is important, and we support the calls on many fronts for the government to allow providers to disclose more information about the types of lawful process requests we receive.