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Govt requests for user data up 23% globally in H1 2020, India 2nd in tally: Facebook

Aim to comply with IT rules, working to implement operational processes: Facebook


Govt requests for user data up 23% globally in H1 2020, India 2nd in tally: Facebook

Government requests for Facebook user data increased 23 per cent globally in January-June 2020 with India occupying the second spot after the US in terms of such requests being made. According to Facebook’s latest transparency report, total 35,560 requests were made by India in the period for 57,294 users/accounts. Some data was produced in 50 per cent cases, it added. In the first six months of 2020, government requests for user data increased by 23 per cent to 1,73,592 globally from 1,40,875 in the second half of 2019. The highest number of requests in January-June 2020 came from the US with 61,528 requests for 106,114 users/accounts, and some data was produced in 88 per cent of the cases, the report said. Germany, France and the UK followed the US and India in the tally.

Facebook said it responds to government requests for data in accordance with applicable law and its terms of service. Each and every request it receives is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and it may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague. “We do not provide governments with direct access or back doors to people’s information. We believe that intentionally weakening our services in this way would undermine the security necessary to protect our users,” Facebook VP and Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby said. During the period under review, the volume of content restrictions based on local law increased 40 per cent from 15,826 to 22,120 globally. The increase was in part related to COVID-19- related restrictions, Facebook said.

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India saw 824 pieces of content being restricted in the same period. The report noted that in January-June 2020, the company identified 52 disruptions of Facebook services in nine countries, compared to 45 disruptions in six countries in the second half of 2019. Also, it took down 3,716,817 pieces of content based on 659,444 copyright reports; 404,078 pieces of content based on 166,310 trademark reports; and 1,308,834 pieces of content based on 97,186 counterfeit reports in the first half of 2020. “Advances in our technology including updates to Rights Manager attributed to increases across content removals,” Sonderby said.

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