Transparency Report for Government Requests for Customer Information

Today we’re releasing Twilio’s first transparency report detailing requests for customer information by municipal, state, provincial and federal governments globally. As part of our commitment to the privacy of your data, this report represents the start of a program to produce clear visibility to the Twilio community around these requests.

In this spirit, this report’s objective is to inform you of the total volume of government requests for information received by Twilio, how Twilio responded to the requests and how often Twilio notified users of the requests.

  • You can view a PDF of the entire report here
  • You can download a text file of the report from our GitHub repository where we will store all future reports here.
  • Read our statement on privacy here.

What This Report Means

Twilio powers communications ranging from voice to messaging to video. As a communications platform relied on by tens of thousands of companies and hundreds of thousands of developers, we receive requests from governmental agencies for customer or end user information in a fashion similar to many communications backbones or cloud platforms.

Who Requests Information

These information requests come from many agencies representing municipal, state, provincial, and federal governments worldwide and can include:

  • Law enforcement agencies
  • Courts
  • Regulatory bodies with subpoena authority

What Kind of Requests are Made

These information requests take the form of discovery instruments carrying the force of law in the regions where Twilio operates, such as:

  • Civil Investigative Demand
  • Court Order
  • Grand Jury Subpoena
  • Subpoena
  • Search Warrant
  • Police Force Order
  • Exigent, Emergency and/or Child Safety Circumstances
  • Record Preservation Request
  • Takedown Request
  • National Security Letters
  • Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) Court Orders

The Importance of Privacy, The Process of an Information Request

We know how important transparent data security is for any developer in their usage of cloud services. For this reason, we stringently uphold our privacy and transparency standards when complying with governmental information requests. This extends not only to how we reply to these requests, but how we share our reply process with our users.

We notify our customers that we have complied with a government request whenever we are not specifically prohibited from doing so by statute, warrant, subpoena or court or administrative order. This results in one of four outcomes:

  • Twilio declines to produce information in response
  • Agency withdraws request for information when informed of our customer disclosure policy
  • Twilio provides customer contact information only
  • Twilio provides customer contact information and specific user content only as indicated in the applicable request

In our first transparency report, you will find that we received 268 requests for information during the first half of 2015. The number of agencies, number of request types and disclosure outcomes are available in aggregate. View the full report here.

Going Forward

Trust is not built through a single act. It is the cumulative result of a series of actions and best practices. The trust you place in Twilio for your vital communications is gravely important to us – this transparency program is just another step in providing you the visibility you deserve and expect from a cloud service. Reports on governmental information requests will continue twice a year both on our website and in a public source code management repository for easy and transparent consumption of any modifications.

Thank you for reading this report and putting that trust in Twilio. If you have any questions about the security of your account or data, please reach out to our support team at help@twilio.com. This report will evolve over time with your feedback – please reach out to us at transparency@twilio.com with specific questions or feedback on this report.