Facebook sees rise in government requests for user data

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Facebook revealed on Thursday that it saw an increase in government requests for user data from the first half of 2016 to the second.

According to Facebook’s latest transparency report, in the first six months of last year, the social media giant received 59,229 government requests for user data worldwide; in the next period, that number rose by 9 percent to 64,279.

{mosads}In the U.S. alone, Facebook received 26,014 requests for account data from July to December — also a 9 percent increase.

The report also showed that Facebook provided data in response to 83 percent of the requests.

“As we have previously emphasized, we apply a rigorous approach to every government request we receive to protect the information of the people who use our services,” Chris Sonderby, Facebook’s deputy general counsel wrote in a blog post.

“We scrutinize each request for legal sufficiency, no matter which country is making the request, and challenge those that are deficient or overly broad. We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s information.

Twitter revealed in its own transparency report earlier this year that it saw a similar bump in government requests for user data over the same period.

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