Facebook Reports Government Requests for User Data Increase Worldwide

Social media giant Facebook reported that requests from governments across the globe for access to user data have increased significantly.

In 2013, Facebook introduced its transparency report which gives information on requests for data that have been refused or granted. On a year-to-year basis, the latest transparency report showed that requests for data user hit 78,890 or an increase of 33%.

Here is a breakdown of the countries that made the highest number of requests for data access:

Country: % of Total Requests Made
United States 0.41
India 0.12
United Kingdom 0.09
Germany 0.07
France 0.06

The United States had 95% of its requests for user data approved followed by the United Kingdom at 90% and France at 74%. India and Germany had more than 50% of their requests approved.

Facebook is the largest social media network with 2.07 Billion subscribers. Of this number, 1.37 Billion are daily active users who spend at least 20 minutes of their time on the social network.

Its gigantic community which account for roughly 28% of the world’s population plus high volume of activity makes Facebook an ideal platform for governments to conduct due diligence processes and other forms of research.

What sort of data does Facebook provide these governments?

According to Facebook Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby, 57% of data requests from the United States came from law enforcement. Sonderby shares that the requests came with a non- disclosure order which prevented Facebook from notifying the user in question.

The report states that more than 200,000 copyright requests were made regarding Facebook content. Facebook acted on 68% of the requests and on 1.8 Million pieces of content. More than 110,000 pieces of Facebook content were taken down due to trademark infringement.

Counterfeit claims are also on the rise with Facebook revealing 217,265 pieces of published content were removed once these were acted upon.

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