On Tuesday, Facebook released the social media giant’s annual transparency report for 2019. And continuing the trend from last year, India emerged as the second largest requester of Facebook user data, right behind the United States. According to Facebook’s annual report, India had made 26,698 requests for data from 39,664 users and accounts in 2019, the second most user data requests after the United States.
Facebook has complied with 57% of these requests. Out of the whole, 3,369 requests were emergency requests. Emergency requests don’t require a legal warrant to be issued. “Based on the circumstances, we may voluntarily disclose information..(where we) believe that the matter involves imminent risk..”
Facebook Vice President Chris Sonderby claimed that user data requests have observed a major surge every year and in the second half of 2019 alone the numbers increased by 9.5% i.e from 1,28,617 to 1,40,875. The numbers in comparison to 2018 have displayed a growth of 30%.
The VP also added that “we do not provide governments with back doors to people’s information” emphasising the importance of scrutinising every request received to check its validity and even considering fighting in court if a request seems extremely broad or deficient in any manner.
Although the user data data requests have increased greatly, the content takedown has seen a significant decrease from 19,000 posts in 2018 to a mere 2,100 posts in 2019.
“United States continues to be the highest requester for user data at 47,958 requests followed by India, the UK, Germany and France” said Sonderby.