Facebook Inc (FB) Reports 18% Spike in Government Demands for Data


Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is reporting that 1H2015 saw a spike in data requests by governments compared to 2H2014. The company also said that it took down far more posts in 1H2015 compared to the latter half of last year. Reporting on government demands for data helps Facebook to fight claims that it shares personal data with the government. The company makes the data request reporting biannually.

In its latest report on government requests for data, Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) says that governments around the world requested far more data in 1H2015 than they did in 2H2014 when it last reported the same. The company received a total of 41,214 requests for account data, reflecting an increase of 18% from 35,051 account data requests it receive in 2H2014.

U.S. leads in data request

Although Facebook doesn’t report on the specifics of the government data requests it receives, the company said the bulk of the requests in 1H2015 came from the U.S. government.

The U.S. law enforcement agencies requested Facebook for data covering 26,579 accounts, up from 21,731 accounts data requests that the company received in 2H2014. Data requests from the U.S. government accounted for 60% of the global data requests Facebook handled in 1H2015.

Other data requesters

Besides the U.S., other major data requesters in 1H2015 were Germany, France and Britain. Governments in India and Turkey also requested for data or called for restriction of certain content on Facebook’s platform.

Content restriction
Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) said it took down a total of 20,568 offensive posts in 1H2015, nearly double the number of posts taken down in 2H2014. The content that Facebook took down either promoted hate or inspired violence.

In Germany, such posts or content had much to do with Nazi issue. In India, Facebook restricted 15,155 posts for violating local laws. Facebook has nearly 190 million subscribers in India, up from 70 million in 2Q2014.

Others reported the request
Besides Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB), Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s Google, Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) are some major technology companies that routinely report government requests for data that they receive.

Recently, Facebook issued a security notification for subscribers that will report hacking activities it believes spearheaded by government actors.

Sources: reuters