India govt asked for info on nearly 3000 users from Facebook

28 Aug 2013 , 19:40

New York:India placed the second highestnumber of 3,245 requests with Facebook for data related to itsusers in the January-June period of 2013, according to thefirst ever transparency report by the social media giant.

The US with 12,000 requests is at the top of the list.Facebook, however, paid heed to only 50 per cent of suchrequests from India.

Facebook logo. AFP image
Facebook has released its own transparency report for the first time ever. AFP image

“Governments make requests to Facebook and many othercompanies seeking account information in officialinvestigations. The vast majority of these requests relate tocriminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings,” Facebooksaid.

“In many of these cases, these government requests seekbasic subscriber information, such as name and length ofservice. Other requests may also seek IP address logs oractual account content,” it said.

The UK, Germany and Italy follow the US and India in thelist.

The UK made 1,975 requests, Germany 1,886, while Italymade 1,705 requests about user data. France placed 1,547requests during the period.The UK made 1,975 requests, Germany 1,886, while Italymade 1,705 requests about user data. France placed 1,547requests during the period.

Facebook said it has stringent processes in place tohandle all government data requests.

“We scrutinise each request for legal sufficiency underour terms and the strict letter of the law, and require adetailed description of the legal and factual bases for eachrequest,” it said.

“We fight many of these requests, pushing back when wefind legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overlybroad or vague requests,” it added.

Facebook is the latest technology company to release dataon how often governments seek information about its customers.Google and Twitter have regularly come out with such data.

Social networking majors such as Facebook and Twitterhave also become platforms for activists for raising voice andflaring anti-government sentiments.

According to a transparency report by Google, the mostrequests came from the US, with 8,438 requests for informationabout 14,868 users in July-September period last year.

India was second with 2,431 requests for data about 4,106users for the period.Similarly, a recent Twitter’s transparency report had shown that US government, which has been in eye of a storm dueto the snooping PRISM programme, had the lion’s share in userdata requests under it between January-June 2013, while Indiahad less than 10 such requests.


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