Government is asking Facebook for more and more data about you

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Published: November 19, 2018 10:48:28 AM

Since 2015, Facebook recorded an increase of 63% in user accounts in India, but there is a rise of almost three-fold in the number of requests by the government on information and user accounts.

Facebook, malicious activities, facebook accounts blocked, Facebook crackdown, Instagram, Instagram accounts, Facebook accounts, Cybersecurity Policy, technology newsIn 2017, Facebook received a total of 22,024 requests from the Indian government and just 13,613 in entire 2016 (Reuters)

Mark Zuckerberg-led Facebook has seen a huge spike in requests from the Indian government for “information” and “user accounts” as it has registered 16,580 requests for information for the first six months of 2018 — a steep 68% rise compared to the same period the previous year. In 2017, the social media network received a total of 22,024 requests from the Indian government and just 13,613 in entire 2016, Facebook said in a report.

Also, the government requests for access to user accounts rose to 23,047 in the first half of 2018 from 4,144 in the first half of 2013. The report by the period from 2013 to July 2018. Since 2015, Facebook recorded an increase of 63% in user accounts in India, but there is a rise of almost three-fold in the number of requests by the government on information and user accounts, it added.

Globally, India stands at the second position for most information and account information requests sought by any country, according to the report. Though the US is on the number one spot for seeking information from Facebook, the growth in Indian requests for information from the social media giant has been way more than that of the US this year.

“Each and every request we receive is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and we may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague…Each and every request we receive is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and we may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague,” Facebook said in the report.

Meanwhile, there has been a decline in the requests from the Indian government for the content takedown, most of which were related to hate speech, religion or anti-state defamation. In 2015 alone, there were a total of 30,000 requests from India for the content takedown and in 2013, India topped the list with the most content takedown requests in 2013.

The number of requests pertaining to content takedown has however decreased significantly to less than 3,500 now and India is now at the seventh spot, the lowest position the country has had thus far. During the period of April to June this year, Facebook took down about 3 million pieces of content across the world because of ‘hate speech’ and the similar number of content pieces in the first three months of this year.

According to the report, there was a surge in the takedown of terrorist-related content to 9 million between April-June period compared with 2 million in the January-March period.

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