Facebook Says Government Requests For Data Are Rapid Increasing

Facebook user privacy requests from US government and global governments

Facebook Inc. said in a report on Wednesday that government demands for its user data surged in the first half of 2015.

With government access to personal data from telephone and web companies becoming a hot topic among users, Facebook began reporting on government request numbers in 2015. According to the company the number of requests continues to sharply increase.

The technology industry has pushed for greater transparency on government data requests, seeking to shake off concerns that they are working with the government and violating user privacy.

Facebook’s biannual report is considered a primary indicator of government request numbers, mainly because the company commands such a large percentage of the personal data space.
Government requests for account data globally jumped 18% in the first half of 2015 to 41,214 accounts, up from 35,051 requests in the second half of 2014.

Facebook says it took down 20,568 posts and other pieces of content that violated local laws, more than doubling the number taken down in the second half of 2014. That content ranged from Nazi propaganda in Germany to depictions of violent crimes.

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Many of the requests were for basic data such as basic subscriber information, IP addresses or account content, including people’s posts online.

The bulk of government requests came from U.S. law enforcement agencies who requested information from 26,579 accounts. That’s 60% of requests made globally. That number is up from 21,731 accounts in the second half of 2014.

“Facebook does not provide any government with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s data,” Facebook wrote in its report.

Written by Peter Mondrose

Peter Mondrose

Peter Mondrose is the Editor-In-Chief at BusinessPundit. He received his degree in Economics in 1998 and a second degree in Journalism in 2004. He has served as a financial adviser, market trader, and freelance journalist for the last 11 years. When he's not investigating market conditions and reporting on workplace news, he can be found traveling with his wife, dog, and laptop. He can be reached at PeterMondrose@BusinessPundit.com or (929) 265-0240.