Pinterest is following the lead of Google, Facebook, and Twitter by releasing their first ever transparency report detailing they have received requests from the US government to provide user information. In the report Pinterest revealed that from July to December, it received 7 warrants, 5 subpoenas, and 1 civil subpoena about 13 user accounts in 12 requests.
When you consider the site gets more than 61 million monthly unique visitors, 13 users seems like an insignificant number. However, what is significant is there is now proof the US government considers Pinterest a resource.
According to the report, the majority of the requests came from state and local government agencies during the documented time period. California made four requests, and Florida and Utah each made two. Not a single request emerged from a foreign country.
In 9 out of 12 cases, Pinterest told users about data requests. This is Pinterest’s policy when it comes to notifying users about requests for information:
Our policy is to give notice to users whose information has been requested unless prohibited by law (e.g., by protective order or applicable statute – see guidelines for more info). Of the 12 law enforcement requests we received, we were prohibited by law from notifying the user 3 times.
Another interesting detail in the report is that Pinterest did not provide data for every request: “… there are some occasions where we the nature, scope or content of the request is objectionable or defective in some way, in which case, we’ll reject the request.” Pinterest rejected 1 out of the 12 requests for information.
For more details please see the full report.