Government Requests Transparency Report

 

 

Fiscal Year 2021
(December 2020 - November 2021)

 

Last Updated: 16 February 2022

 

Overview

 

Adobe, like all hosted service providers, is obligated to disclose user data when we receive valid legal process from a government agency. Since 2014, we have published this report annually to promote transparency and accountability for Adobe’s practices and policies and for the legal process (“requests”) we receive from governments around the world. 

 

This report includes the following information on all the government requests we’ve received over the course of our fiscal year 2021 (“FY 5133.0 cm (2021”)):

  1. A breakdown of the requests and how we responded
  2. The products and services to which they relate

Our Policies and Process

Every request we receive is carefully reviewed by the Adobe Trust & Safety team to ensure law enforcement is entitled to the data they seek with the type of process they have obtained. 

 

Notice: Our law enforcement policy includes providing advanced notice to the targets of a legal request unless legally prohibited from doing so by a nondisclosure order. When we can’t provide advanced notice because of a time-limited nondisclosure order, we provide notice to the user whose information was disclosed when the nondisclosure provision expires. Ultimately, we seek to provide notice for all requests. 

  

Sometimes, Adobe receives nondisclosure orders that are permanent (i.e., they expressly never expire) or indefinite (i.e., they say they will expire 'on further order of the court'). Permanent or indefinite gag orders are unconstitutional prior restraints on speech and we challenge them in court.

 

No Backdoors: Adobe has not built ‘backdoors’ for any government - foreign or domestic - into our products or services.  All government requests for user data need to come through the front door (i.e., by serving valid legal process upon the appropriate Adobe legal department). Adobe vigorously opposes legislation in the U.S. and overseas that would in any way weaken the security of our products or our users’ privacy protections.

Enterprise Customer Data: The overwhelming majority of requests to Adobe seek individual user data. In the rare instance where Adobe receives a request targeting disclosure of enterprise customer data, consistent with U.S. Department of Justice policy, Adobe always seeks to redirect the Government to obtain the data directly from the enterprise.  To date, Adobe has not disclosed enterprise customer data in response to a request targeting one of our enterprise customers. 

 

More information on our law enforcement response policies can be found here.

 

Notable Insights 

Over the years, the total number of requests for data Adobe has received has remained relatively low.. 

 

Most of the legal process we have received are related to online child safety and financial fraud investigations: 

 

  • 56% of legal requests (106 out of 189 total requests) from the last fiscal year were follow-ups to CyberTips we’ve sent to the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (read more on Adobe’s commitment to child safety here
  • 24% (46 out of 189 total requests) related to investigations of possible fraudulent purchases of Adobe’s goods or services

 

National Security Requests: To date, Adobe has not received any form of national security process, such as a National Security Letter (NSL) or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) order. For a more detailed breakdown of our requests, see the “Metrics” section below. 

 

 

 

Metrics

 

(1) Breakdown of Requests Received and How We Responded

 

International Requests

Country

Number of requests

Number of accounts subject to request

Number of accounts some data was provided

Australia

1

1

1

Belgium

1

1

0

France

3

2

0

Germany

10

4

0

India

2

0

0

Ireland

3

3

1

Italy

2

2

0

Japan

3

3

0

Romania

1

1

0

Spain

11

3

1

Sweden

1

1

0

Switzerland

1

1

1

UK

2

6

0

Total

41

28

4

 

U.S. Requests

Type of request

Number of requests

Number of accounts subject to request

Number of accounts some data was provided

Subpoena

40

62

61

Court order

4

2

2

Search warrant

103

122

113

Imminent harm

1

1

1

Total

148

187

177

 

Nondisclosure orders ("NDOs")

 

Adobe's response

Rationale

Number of NDOs

NDOs accepted

Time-limited NDOs (no push-back/objection needed)

87

Time-limited after we objected

21

NDOs rejected

Nondisclosure removed altogether after our objections

2

Request withdrawn (no data provided) due to pushback on indefinite nondisclosure

0

Total NDOs received

110

 

(2) Product and Service Breakdown

 

Government requests by service

Number of requests

Adobe ID or Adobe Subscriptions

99

Photoshop

42

Lightroom

29

Creative Cloud

13

Behance

1

Magento

1

Sign

4

Total

189

 

 

You can access Adobe’s other Transparency Reports here: