Facebook Provided User Info In 79% Of Requests From U.S. Government

Earlier today, Facebook released a report on governmental data requests made during the last six months, showing that there were between 11,000 and 12,000 requests made by the U.S. government during that short period of time, and that the website shared at least some information in nearly 4 out of 5 requests.

Facebook doesn’t break down the nature of these requests, but does say that the “vast majority… relate to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings.” The company says that many requests are only seeking to obtain the most basic of info, like the user’s name and how long he or she has been using Facebook.

The U.S. requests, representing upwards of 21,000 individual accounts, are by far the most numerous during this time period, several times the 3,245 requests made by the government of India.

Of the countries with the 10 most requests filed during the last six months, only Taiwan saw a higher level of compliance than the U.S., with 84% of its 229 requests resulting in some data being shared with authorities. Among countries filing more than 1,000 requests, the U.S. and the UK were the only governments with a success rate higher than 60%, while Facebook turned away a majority of requests from French and German authorities.

Below are the 10 countries with the most requests made to Facebook in the last six months, in descending order of rate of compliance:
Taiwan (84% of 229 requests)
United States (79% of 11,000-12,000 requests)
UK (68% of 1,975 requests)
Australia (64% of 546 requests)
Italy (53% of 1,705 requests)
Spain (51% of 479 requests)
India (50% of 3,245 requests)
France (39% of 1,547 requests)
Germany (37% of 1,886 requests)
Brazil (33% of 715 requests)

Facebook says it intends on releasing these reports on a regular basis, but explains that it is currently restricted as to what information it can share about these requests.

“We continue to push the United States government to allow more transparency regarding these requests, including specific numbers and types of national security-related requests,” writes the site. “We will publish updated information for the United States as soon as we obtain legal authorization to do so.”

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