US TELECOMMUNICATIONS COMPANY Verizon has thrown its hat into the transparency report ring and will be following the lead of its peers.
Since the PRISM revelations broke firms have lined up to say they treat their users' data appropriately. Verizon may be rather late to the party, but some will be glad that it has turned up.
Verizon will publish its 2013 review sometime next year and has promised semi-annual updates after that. It will base its reports on content that it is allowed to discuss, as like other firms it has its hands tied in terms of what it is legally allowed to disclose.
The firm said it is committed to preserving its customers' privacy and does not sell customer data to third parties without their consent. However it admits to kicking out content to the government.
"Although we have a legal obligation to provide customer information to law enforcement in response to lawful demands, we take seriously our duty to provide such information only when authorised by law. We have released the lion's share of this data for the past two years, and we are taking this step to make this information more consistently and easily available," said Randal Milch, executive vice president of public policy and general counsel of Verizon.
"In the past year, there has been greater focus than ever on the use of legal demands by governments around the world to obtain customer data. Like others in the industry, the aim of our transparency report is to keep our customers informed about government requests for their data and how we respond to those requests. Verizon calls on governments around the world to provide more information on the types and amounts of data they collect and the legal processes that apply when they do so."
Reports will break data out into a number of categories and make it clear if information has been provided following legal involvement.
"In addition, the report will break out this data under categories such as subpoenas, court orders and warrants. Verizon will also provide other details about the legal demands it receives, as well as information about requests for information in emergencies," added Milch.
"Verizon is working with the US government regarding the detail the company can report on the number of national security letters it received last year. Similar to transparency reports published by other major internet companies, Verizon's report will not disclose information about other national security requests received by the company." µ