Transparency report: Updating our report for the second half of 2017

The laws related to government requests for user data are changing fast: from passage of the CLOUD Act by the US Congress to the US Supreme Court’s recent decision in Carpenter v. United States. In this environment, Dropbox is more committed than ever to protecting user privacy. As part of that commitment, today we’ve updated our Transparency Report today to uphold this promise, and provide insight about the government requests Dropbox has received since our last reporting period.

From July to December 2017, Dropbox received 1,341 requests for user information. This is 9.3% less than what we received from January to June 2017. While the vast majority of our users were not impacted, we take these requests seriously. We adhere to our guiding principles, narrowing the scope or pushing back completely on overly broad requests. In 31.8% of cases, the court prohibited Dropbox from ever letting users know that the government sought their information. In response, so our users have more visibility, we continue to publish the number of indefinite nondisclosure orders we receive from courts.

Since our last Transparency Report, we’ve also continued our efforts to shape enduring privacy policies. We signed an amicus brief in U.S. v. Microsoft, a Supreme Court case seeking to determine whether governments could obtain user information stored abroad, arguing that Congress was more apt to address this issue. While that case was pending, Congress passed the CLOUD Act. The Act was a meaningful step towards modernizing the rules of the road for law enforcement investigations that cross borders, but more progress must still be made on behalf of user privacy. We’re engaged with governments and privacy groups advocating for user privacy in this important area. Read our in-depth take here.

Our relationship with our users is built on trust and we’ll continue to fight for positions that make sure we’re worthy of it.


Update (July 10, 2018): This post was revised to correct the percentage of cases in which the court prohibited Dropbox from letting users know the government sought their information.