India trails US in number of userdata requests from FB

New Delhi: The requests by the Centre to seek access to Facebook users’ data further increased in the first six months of this year, second only to the US government, the social networking giant has revealed.

In all, India requested FB to provide data in 35,560 cases in the January-June 2020 period – significantly up from 26,698 queries about users’ data in the H2 of 2019. Facebook provided data in 50% of the requests, as per its latest biannual Transparency Report. ‘We have strict guidelines in place to deal with all government data requests,’ FB said.

There were a total of 33,374 legal requests and 2,186 emergency requests from India.

There was also an increase in the Indian government’s request to preserve account information too, pending the receipt of formal legal process. In the JanJune 2020 period, India asked for 4,100 accounts to be preserved, from 2,500 account requests in earlier reported periods. Globally, in the first six months of 2020, the government requests for user data increased by 23% from 1,40,875 to 1,73,592.

“Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, Germany, France, and the UK,” FB said.


NT Bureau