The Indian government made the second highest requests —35,560— to Facebook for data on 57,294 users/accounts in January-June this year, according to the company’s latest transparency report. Facebook complied with nearly 50 per cent of these requests.
Of the total, 2,186 were emergency requests and the remaining dealt with legal processes.
In the second half of 2019, the government had sent 26,698 such queries.
The Centre also sought 4,100 accounts to be preserved this year, higher than the request for 2,500 accounts it made in the second half of 2019.
The US topped the list with 61,528 requests, followed by Germany, France and the UK.
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Globally, government user data requests rose by 23 percent from 1,40,875 to 1,73,592 between January and June.
During the period under review, the volume of content restrictions based on local laws increased 40 per cent from 15,826 to 22,120 globally.
The increase was in part related to Covid-19- related restrictions, Facebook said. India saw 824 pieces of content being restricted in this period.
Facebook said it responds to government requests for data in accordance with applicable law and its terms of service. Each and every request it receives is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency and it may reject or require greater specificity on requests that appear overly broad or vague.
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“We do not provide governments with direct access or back doors to people’s information. We believe that intentionally weakening our services in this way would undermine the security necessary to protect our users,” said Facebook VP and Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby in a post.
FB offers first-ever hate speech estimate
Facebook also disclosed for the first time prevalence of hate speech on its platform through its Community Standards Enforcement Report for September 2020 quarter.Out of every 10,000 content views globally in the third quarter, 10-11were hate speech.
During the third quarter, Facebook took action on 22.1 million pieces of hate speech content, about 95 per cent of which was proactively identified. Facebook has been facing severe criticism over its handling and labelling of hate speech after a Wall Street Journal report said that Ankhi Das, its former top public policy executive in India, deliberately did not taking action on hate speeches from Hindutva individuals and groups on the platform. Das quit as Facebook’s public policy head last month.