Government requests for Facebook user data increase by 13%

Facebook Privacy and Government Data Requests

Facebook has released its biannual transparency report and it highlights the number of requests for user data it has received from government agencies in the second half of 2015.

In the report Facebook includes data requests for its main platform and for Messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram.

Government requests for user data increased by 13% and the number of posts that were restricted by local laws more than doubled.

The number of restricted posts increased from 20,568 items to 55,827. Facebook says the massive increase in restrictions was mostly caused by aa single image from the terrorist attacks in Paris last November.

Facebook received 19,235 requests for user data from US government agencies and provided information in 81.41% of those cases.

The social network says 5,288 of US government requests were made by subpoena, a practice that Facebook hopes to see end with the passage of the Email Privacy Act.

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“We support the Email Privacy Act, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, because it would codify the warrant-for-content requirement and update an old law on government access to Internet communications,” Facebook said in its announcement of the transparency report.

India was the second biggest requester of data with only 5,561 requests.