Government Requests Transparency Report


Fiscal Year 2016
(December 1, 2015 - November 30, 2016)


Last Updated: December 13, 2016


Adobe, like all hosted service providers, is required to disclose customer data when we receive valid legal process from a government agency with jurisdiction. In this – our third annual transparency report -- we disclose information about all government requests seeking access to Adobe customer data that we received during our fiscal year 2016 (FY 2016), the services to which they relate, the country of origin, and how we responded. Every request we receive is carefully scrutinized 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, and is managed in accordance with our law enforcement response policies, which you will find here.

Government Requests By Service: During FY 2016, most government requests we received related to users of our Creative Cloud service (8 requests), our Lightroom photo storage service (14 requests), or to customer Adobe ID accounts or Adobe store transactions (11 requests). The remaining government requests received sought information about users of the following apps or services: Adobe Spark (8 requests), Photoshop Mix (3 requests), Adobe Sign (3 requests), Document Cloud (2 requests), Fotolia (1 request), Export PDF (1 request) and Premiere Clip (1 request). Some requests we received sought data about users with accounts on multiple Adobe services.

Government Requests By Country of Origin: We received three requests from international governments this year (one each from Argentina, France and Italy). This year, we made no disclosures in response to those requests because none adhered to Adobe’s policy requiring service of process on Adobe Systems Software Ireland Limited when seeking data about customers who reside outside of North America. As a result, all disclosures we made this year were in response to legal process received from U.S. federal or state authorities.

Some Additional Interesting Facts:

  • No Enterprise Customer Data Disclosed: As in previous years, all disclosures made in FY 2016 related to individual consumer accounts. We received no requests, and made no disclosures, related to enterprise customer accounts.
  • No Customer Content Disclosed Without A Search Warrant: Adobe does not disclose customer content stored in our cloud services (such as photos, videos or documents) unless we receive a search warrant issued upon a showing of probable cause under relevant state or federal law. We received search warrants in all 29 matters where we disclosed customer content.
  • No National Security Requests Received: As of the end of FY 2016, Adobe still has not received any form of national security process, such as a National Security Letter (NSL) or Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) order.
  • No Delaying Customer Notice Unless We Are Legally Obligated To Do So: As we did last year, this year we rejected a number of requests from governments to delay notice to our users because the requests were made informally. We only delay notice to our customers where we are legally obligated to do so -- for example, when we receive a delayed notice order (DNO) issued by a court. We then notify our customer of the government request for their data after the DNO expires.
  • 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 US and overseas that would in any way weaken the security of our products or our users’ privacy protections.

Government Requests Received

Type of Request Received
Number of Requests
Number of user accounts impacted
Subpoenas 14 18
Search Warrants
29 30
International Requests
3 4
National Security Requests 0 0
Imminent Harm Requests
2 2
Court Orders 0 0
Total 48 54
Delayed Notice Orders 30 35


Adobe Response

Type of Request Received
Number of Requests
Number of user accounts impacted
Account Doesn't Exist
1 3
Customer Registration or Transactional Information Disclosed
9 11
Customer Content Disclosed 29 30
Request Rejected/No Information Provided 9 10
Total 48 54