Facebook Discloses 40,300 Govt Requests for User Data

Globally, government demands for client information expanded by 10 per cent to 191,013 in the second half of 2020

Facebook Discloses 40,300 Govt Requests for User Data
Facebook Discloses 40,300 Govt Requests for User Data
PTI - 20 May 2021

Social media giant Facebook said it has received 40,300 solicitations from the Indian government for client information in the second half of 2020.

This was 13.3 percent higher than the January-June 2020 period when India had made 35,560 total demands, as per Facebook's most recent Transparency Report.

The US-based organisation limited admittance to 878 items in India during the second half of 2020 in response to directions from the IT Ministry for violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including content against security of the state and public order.

As per the report, India made 40,300 total demands in the July-December 2020 period, of which 37,865 were legal process demands and 2,435 were emergency disclosure requests.

The number of total solicitations made by India positioned second to the US, which had made 61,262 solicitations during the July-December 2020 period.

Around the world, government demands for client information expanded by around 10 per cent to 191,013 in the second half of 2020 from 173,592 in the first half.

Data identified with 62,754 clients/accounts were demanded in India, and some information was delivered for 52 per cent of these solicitations.

"Facebook responds to government requests for data in accordance with applicable law and our terms of service. 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," the report said.

Facebook said that during the July - December 2020 period, it had "restricted access in India to 878 items in response to directions from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology for violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including content against security of the state and public order."

Of these, 10 were limited for a brief time, it added.

"We also restricted access to 54 items in compliance with court orders. In response to an order from Justice Alexandre de Moraes of Brazil's Supreme Court related to 12 profiles and Pages of supporters of Brazilian President Bolsonaro, we restricted access globally to this content, including in India," it added.

Facebook noted that while it abides by the law in nations where it works, it "strongly" goes against extraterritorial legitimate requests, for example, the one bringing about these limitations.

The social media giant likewise delivered its Community Standards Enforcement Report for the first quarter of 2021.

According to the Community Standards Enforcement Report, content actioned on adult nudity and sexual activity expanded to 31.8 million in first quarter of 2021 from 28.1 million bits of content in the previous quarter.

The report found that prevalence of hate speech content was between 0.05 per cent and 0.06 per cent of views in the first quarter of 2021, which denotes an abatement from the final quarter of 2020.

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