Indian Government asks for Information on 4,144 users: Reveals Facebook’s Global Government Requests Report

Facebook’s “Global Government Requests” Report revealed that the Indian Government asked for Information on 4,144 Facebook users in 2013.

Facebook explained in a blogpost, that it is trying to be more transparent in its approach to responding to government data requests. It has released its first Global Government Requests Report to make its users understand the nature and extent of the requests it receives and the strict policies and processes they have in place to handle them.

This report contains every request for user data they have received from every government around the world during for the first six months of 2013.

The report details the following:

  1. Which countries requested information from Facebook about our users
  2. The number of requests received from each of those countries
  3. The number of users/user accounts specified in those requests
  4. The percentage of these requests in which Facebook was required by law to disclose at least some data

The U.S. placed the most requests for user data, followed by India. The Indian government authorities made 3245 requests for information on 4,144 Facebook users in the first six months of 2013 of which Facebook complied with some in data in 50% of these cases.

United States and India had the highest number of user requests even when Google had announced its transparency report in January this year. India had requested for information 2,431 times related to 4,106 users and 66 per cent of the requests were complied with.

The “Global Requests Report” reveals that 71 countries requested data on a total of 37,954 to 38,954.

The report also mentioned that Facebook has stringent processes in place to handle all government data requests. This process protects the data of Facebook users, and requires governments to meet a very high legal bar with each individual request in order to receive any information about any of our users.

Facebook scrutinizes each request for legal sufficiency under their terms and the strict letter of the law, and require a detailed description of the legal and factual bases for each request. They also fight many of these requests, pushing back when they find legal deficiencies.

When they are required to comply with a particular request, they frequently share only basic user information, such as name. You can find more details about Facebook’s approach to responding to government requests here:

Facebook will have more such reports in the near future with even more information about the requests they receive from law enforcement authorities.

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