Government Requests for Facebook user data continue to increase worldwide

Posted December 20, 2017

Facebook said it received more than 377,000 complaints in the first six months of the year related to IP issues, and it removed almost 3 million posts. The US alone accounted for 41 percent of data requests, followed by India, the UK, Germany and France with 12 percent, 9 percent, 7 percent and 6 percent respectively.

Facebook stated the USA government made more requests that demanded confidentiality than ever before on December 18. Of the data requests submitted by USA law enforcement, 57 per cent also contained non-discloser orders, meaning that Facebook was prohibited from notifying the user.

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The ninth Facebook transparency report also showed that government requests for information about users increased 21 percent worldwide compared with the second half of 2016, from 64,279 to 78,890. H1 saw a huge leap in data restrictions, up to 28,036 from 6,944 in H2 2016, but most of this can be traced back to a single event, a school shooting in Mexico which resulting in Facebook restricting 20,506 pieces of content. Facebook says majority of the content was in violation of local laws of defamation and content violating religion and hate speech laws.

Sonderby added Facebook "carefully scrutinize" each request received for account data to ensure it's legally sufficient. The semi-annual transparency report stated that 57 percent of the total 32,716 requests made by the government in the first half of 2017 demanded confidentiality.

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Facebook released its "Transparency Report" yesterday, December 18, covering January to July this year. For the second half of 2016, content was restricted only around 7000 times, suggesting a fourfold increase in the takedown requests, notes The Verge. Facebook removed 20,506 instances of this video. This number is up a whopping 50% from past year, with Facebook adding that there has been a massive 304% increase in the number of content restrictions around violating local law. To access more basic information, such as names and email addresses, only a valid subpoena in connection with an official investigation is required. On Instagram, it made a move against 108,094 posts following 10,231 fake cases. Some 70,000 solicitations for copyright came to Instagram, with 685,000 bits of substance evacuated. She was broadcasting her confrontation on Facebook, and police asked the company to shut down her account, saying that other users were egging her on.

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