According to Facebook’s latest biannual report on government data requests, the total law enforcement requests were at their highest level ever at 41,214 for the first half of 2015, which is up 18% from last year, reports The Verge. From Canadian authorities, Facebook received 410 requests for user data, while 508 user accounts were referenced, The report also notes that some type of data was produced in 78.78% of requests coming from law enforcement agencies in Canada.
“The company also said it saw a 112 percent rise in content it hides due to violations of local laws. Roughly 75 percent of that restricted content is coming from users in India, where the company’s Computer Emergency Response Team is said to censor social media posts critical of religion or the state. The US is still far and away the global leader in data requests, with 17,577 total requests affecting 26,579 users. In 80 percent of those cases, Facebook handed over some type of data”.
While Facebook does not break out request types for other countries, India, France, and Germany trail the US in total number of data requests at 5,115; 2,520; and 2,344; respectively. The company also notes that it can decline to provide certain types of data if it’s not legally mandated to do so, and less than half of all requests made by India, France, and Germany resulted in Facebook handing over any type of data to law enforcement.
It must be highlighted that companies like Twitter, Google, Amazon and large telecoms and ISPs also disclose user data on government requests.