U.S. Government Making More Requests For Data Than Ever, Says Facebook

The number of data requests made secretly by the U.S. government rose by 26 percent in the first half of 2017 as compared to second half of 2016.

U.S. Government Making More Requests For Data Than Ever
U.S. Government Authorities Seek Data More Than Ever, Says Facebook

Facebook stated the U.S. government made more requests that demanded confidentiality than ever before on December 18. The semi-annual transparency report stated that 57 percent of the total 32,716 requests made by the government in the first half of 2017 demanded confidentiality.

The requests asked for data on total 52,280 users. The social media giant provided the data 85 percent of the times.

The number of requests raised by 25.7 percent in first half of 2017 from the 26,014 made in the second half of 2016, said Facebook. Those requests asked for data on 41,492 users, and the social media giant gave data on 83.4 percent of them.

“Fifty-seven percent of the data requests we received from law enforcement in the U.S. contained a non-disclosure order that prohibited us from notifying the user, up from 50% in our last report,” said the company in a Facebook post announcing the report.

The transparency report also had copies of five requests from the government for information that the company was not permitted to reveal previously due to concerns regarding national security. These letters were sent from FBI offices in Michigan, Virginia, California, and Florida during the period, 2012–2015.

The company also stated receiving 352,889 copyright and trademark complaints in the first half of 2017 about the content on Facebook and Instagram.

The request for data demanding confidentiality shows that the U.S. government has been strengthening its efforts for national security.


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