Telling Numbers — Rise and rise in government requests for Facebook infohttps://indianexpress.com/article/explained/rise-and-rise-in-government-requests-for-facebook-information-5452992/

Telling Numbers — Rise and rise in government requests for Facebook info

A Facebook Transparency report released Friday shows a consistent increase in the number of government requests for “information” and “user accounts” in the last five years.

Telling Numbers — Rise and rise in government requests for Facebook info
Globally, India stands at second spot, behind the US, for most information requests and account information requests sought by any country, according to the report. (File Photo)

A Facebook Transparency report released Friday shows a consistent increase in the number of government requests for “information” and “user accounts” in the last five years. The “information” requested for usually relates to data used for law-enforcement.

The only six-month period when the number of requests dropped was January-June 2015, when the government made 5,115 requests for “information” following 5,473 requests during December-July 2014, and 6,268 requests for “user accounts” following 7,281 requests in the preceding six-month period.

Since January-June 2013, requests for information of both kinds have multiplied more than 5 times — those for “information” from 3,245 to 16,580, and those for “user accounts” from 4,144 to 23,047. Compared to January-June 2017, information requests have increased by two-thirds.

Also read | Spike in Govt requests to Facebook for information, user accounts

Globally, India stands at second spot, behind the United States, for most information requests and account information requests sought by any country, according to the report. During January-June 2018, the US made 42,466 requests for “information” and 70,528 for “user accounts”. The rise in the number of requests in India, however, has been more sharp than that in the US. Between January-June 2013 and January-June 2018, the number of US requests for “information” multiplied under 4 times (from 11,000 in 2013) while requests for “user data” multiplied about 3½ times (from 20,000), as compared to over 5 times for Indian government requests for both kinds of information. In January-June 2017, the US had made 32,716 requests for “information” and 52,280 for “user accounts”.

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