Facebook-parent Meta – which was in recent news for drastically reducing its headcount – has released its transparency report for the first half of the year. During first half of 2022, Meta clocked a rise of 10.5% in global government requests for user data.
During the first six months of the year – January-June 2022 – the number of requests made to Meta by governments across the globe for user data rose to 237,414. Dividing the total volume on the basis of country, it is revealed that the maximum number of requests was made by the government of the United States, followed by India. Germany, Brazil, and France complete the top five followed by the United Kingdom.
Meta received a total of 69,363 requests from the US for the period, which is an increase of 15.6% than the number of requests it had received in Q2 2022. This includes 65,420 legal process requests and 3943 requests for the emergency disclosure of user data. The US is closely followed by India, and Meta revealed in the report that it received a total of 55,497 requests by the Indian government for H1 2022. Breaking this up, we can find that a total of 51, 692 legal process requests were made to Meta, along with 3895 requests for the emergency disclosure of user data.
Meta complied with 66.59% of the requests it received from India – where some data was produced – while it compiled with 87.97% of requests where some data was produced.
Germany came third with 17,977 requests for user data – including 17,316 legal process ones – while Meta received a total of 15,582 requests from Brazil, including 1030 requests for emergency disclosure. Meta also received 12,769 requests from the French government and 11,353 requests from the UK during the same period.
“We comply with government requests for user information only where we have a good-faith belief that the law requires us to do so. In addition, we assess whether a request is consistent with internationally recognized standards on human rights, including due process, privacy, free expression and the rule of law. When we do comply, we only produce information that is narrowly tailored to that request,” the company said in an official statement.
In its transparency report, the tech giant also reported a rise in the volume of content restrictions (based on local law) for the first half of the year. The same clocked a rise of 70% to 89,368 in H1 2022 from the corresponding quarter in the previous year. In India, it restricted access to 23 items – only four of them were restricted permanently – that were reported by the Election Commission, due to complaints that included the dissemination of candidate misinformation and promotion of sectarian violence.
Meta also restricted access to 597 items in response to directions received from MeitY, for violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, as well as six items in response to directions from Ministry of Information & Broadcasting for violating Rule 16 of the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines & Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021.
It also took down 4,790,449 pieces of content on the basis of copyright reports for H1 2022, along with 700,736 pieces of content based on tradew=mark reports, and 2,509,130 pieces of content based on counterfeit reports.