Government Wants More And More User Data From Facebook

20 December, 2017, 00:41 | Author: Sam Montgomery
  • A man waits for an elevator in front of a logo at Facebook's headquarters in London Britain

Facebook has released its latest bi-annual Transparency Report (for the first half of 2017) suggesting a steep increase in the government's demand for user data.

Compared to the first half of 2016, where the number of requests stood at 6,324, this is almost a 55 per cent jump for 2017.

The report covers every information request from across the world over the first half of the year - apart from those subject to national security delays. Each government had over half their submissions granted, with the United Kingdom (90 percent), USA (85 percent), and France (74 percent) in the lead. In the second half of past year, that figure stood at 64,276.

Facebook did not, however, revealed the details of the accounts governments requested their data. (FB) said that requests for user data from governments worldwide continued to increase.

The company removed user uploads in response to 81 percent of filings for counterfeiting, 68 percent for copyrights and 47 percent for trademarks, according to its report.

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The report read that the Bangladesh government sought data of 21 users in 20 requests.

Facebook also says that 57% of the requests they got from U.S. law enforcement included a non-disclosure order that bans the company from telling the user that their data was requested. India, the UK, Germany and France were also among the most frequent requesters, with 12 per cent, nine per cent, seven per cent and six per cent, respectively.

Pakistan's Government request for restricting content sharply increased as compared to a year ago. In Mexico, during that same 2016 period, Facebook agreed to restrict content only 25 times. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary.

It would have been good to get additional information about requests for data from Facebook's other properties including Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp, she said. Around 70,000 requests for copyright were submitted to Instagram, with 685,000 posts removed. Facebook suggested these shutdowns can create barriers for businesses and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their family and friends.

The social media company also took down 217,265 posts from Facebook driven by counterfeit claims, and 108,094 from Instagram.

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