Frequently Asked Questions
- Why are certain countries represented in Yahoo’s Transparency Report while others are not?
- Are there any Yahoo entities that are not included in this report?
- Does this Transparency Report include statistics regarding government data requests for Tumblr user data?
- Under what circumstances will Yahoo disclose information about a user to a government agency?
- In a life-threatening emergency, when does Yahoo disclose user data to government agencies without first receiving compulsory legal process?
- What do the terms in your report mean?
Why are certain countries represented in Yahoo’s Transparency Report while others are not?
- The countries listed are those in which Yahoo has a legal entity, and therefore, government agencies in those countries could potentially seek and obtain user data through compulsory legal process. A government agency must have jurisdiction over the Yahoo entity and the government specified account(s) in order for our team to produce user data in response to compulsory legal process.
Are there any Yahoo entities that are not included in this report?
- Yes. We have not included the statistics associated with Yahoo entities that received fewer than nine government data requests during the reporting period. For this report, that includes Yahoo! Colombia and Yahoo! Hispanic Americas. We have also not included statistics for Yahoo! Japan, which is a joint venture operating independently from Yahoo! Inc., in which Yahoo! Inc. has a minority ownership interest.
Does this Transparency Report include statistics regarding government data requests for Tumblr user data?
- No. Although Yahoo recently acquired Tumblr, this report reflects Yahoo’s data only. Tumblr will issue a separate transparency report at a later date, and will issue its own additional reports on an ongoing basis.
Under what circumstances will Yahoo disclose information about a user to a government agency?
- We’ve worked hard over the years to earn our users’ trust and we fight hard to preserve it. Yahoo entities disclose user data in response to valid, compulsory legal process from a government agency with proper jurisdiction and authority. We carefully review government requests to determine the appropriate scope of data to be provided and interpret them narrowly in an effort to produce the least amount of data necessary to comply with the request.
In a life-threatening emergency, when does Yahoo disclose user data to government agencies without first receiving compulsory legal process?
- We may voluntarily disclose user data to a government agency in the very rare instance where we conclude that disclosure without delay is necessary to prevent imminent danger of death or serious physical injury to any person, as permitted by law. Even in such circumstances, we carefully review the request and construe it as narrowly as practicable in light of the emergency. In all other cases, we insist that government agencies strictly comply with requisite legal formalities.
What do the terms in your report mean?
- Government Specified Accounts: The number of Yahoo accounts, users, or other unique identifiers listed in a Government Data Request. This number is typically larger than the number of users and accounts actually involved because: 1) a single account may be included in more than one Government Data Request; 2) an individual user may have multiple accounts that were specified in one or more Government Data Requests; and 3) if a Government Data Request specified an account that does not exist, that nonexistent account would nevertheless be included in our count of Government Specified Accounts.
- Government Data Request: Compulsory legal process to Yahoo entities from government agencies seeking information about Yahoo accounts and/or the activity of Yahoo users within Yahoo products. The Government Data Requests reflected in this report are generally made in connection with criminal investigations.
- Content: Data that our users create, communicate, and store on or through our services. This could include words in a communication (e.g., Mail or Messenger), photos on Flickr, files uploaded, Yahoo Address Book entries, Yahoo Calendar event details, thoughts recorded in Yahoo Notepad or comments or posts on Yahoo Answers or any other Yahoo property.
- NCD: Non-content data such as basic subscriber information including the information captured at the time of registration such as an alternate e-mail address, name, location, and IP address, login details, billing information, and other transactional information (e.g., “to,” “from,” and “date” fields from email headers).
- No Data Found: Yahoo produced no data in response to the Government Data Request because no responsive data could be found (i.e., the account didn’t exist or there was no data for the date range specified by the request).
- Rejected: Yahoo may have possessed data responsive to the Government Data Request, but none was produced because of a defect or other problem with the Government Data Request (e.g., the government agency sought information outside its jurisdiction or the request only sought data that could not be lawfully obtained with the legal process provided). This category also includes Government Data Requests that were withdrawn after being received by Yahoo. We carefully review Government Data Requests for legal sufficiency and interpret them narrowly in an effort to produce the least amount of data necessary to comply with the request.