Govt requests for Facebook user data up a third in H1

Govt requests for Facebook user data up a third in H1

Govt requests for Facebook user data up a third in H1

Facebook said Monday the USA government is making more secret requests for data about more users than ever before.

The number of requests raised by 25.7 percent in first half of 2017 from the 26,014 made in the second half of 2016, said Facebook.

While all requests are reviewed by Facebook, the figures also revealed that most were approved, with the United Kingdom (90 per cent), the U.S. (85 per cent) and France (74 per cent) all notable for their high level of request approval. At a global level, requests increased by 21 percent from the second half of 2016. Facebook granted 85 percent of the US government's requests.

Sonderby added Facebook "carefully scrutinize" each request received for account data to ensure it's legally sufficient.

Facebook's Transparency report for 2017 also includes disruptions affecting access to Facebook products and services in India that took place and say there were 21 in total.

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The Transparency Report was previously called the Government Requests Report. The company added that 57 percent of the data requests received from law enforcement in the USA contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited it from notifying the user, up from 50 percent in the previous report.

The huge increase in requests was largely made up from law enforcement in Mexico, with Facebook saying they restricted a video of a January school shooting in Monterrey. Facebook has revealed to respond around 63% of total requests. "If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary", Facebook's Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby said in a blog post.

"We are also concerned that the type of information disclosed in the transparency report could merely be the tip of the iceberg of what is really going on", said Ms Wood.

According to Facebook, the number of content restrictions for violating local law increased by 304 percent globally to 28,036 in the first half of 2017 from 6,944 in the second half of 2016. On Instagram, it made a move against 108,094 posts following 10,231 fake cases. We continue to be deeply concerned by internet disruptions, which can create barriers for businesses and prevent people from sharing and communicating with their family and friends. Around 70,000 requests were sent to Instagram, and 685,000 pieces of content were removed.

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