Facebook on Tuesday said that the United States placed maximum requests for user data during the last six months of 2019 followed by India, United Kingdom, Germany and France. The company said that government requests for user data increased 9.5% from 128,617 requests in the first half of 2019 to 140,875 requests in the last six month of 2019. Facebook said that it received 51,121 requests for user data from the US government which represents an 1% increase from the first half of 2019. Further, the company said that 67% of the US requests involved a non-disclosure order which would prevent Facebook from notifying the user.
According to the Facebook Transparency report, India placed 26,698 requests with Facebook in the second half of 2019 which includes 1754 emergency requests. The company said that it responds to the government request for data “in accordance with applicable law and our terms of service.”
However, Facebook said that each government request “is carefully reviewed for legal sufficiency.” Of the 26,698 requests from the Indian government, Facebook said that 24,944 involved legal process with the company producing “some data” in 57% of the total cases. Facebook hasn’t specified the exact data that the company submitted to the Indian government. Further, the company highlighted that the Indian government requests for user data involved 39,664 users and accounts.
In comparison, Facebook said that the Indian government placed 22,684 requests in the first half of 2019 including 1615 emergency requests. The company said that 21,069 requests involved legal process with Facebook producing “some data” in 54% of the total cases. The Indian government request for user data in the first half of 2019 involved 33,324 users and accounts.
Additionally, the company highlighted that the number of internet disruptions in India was at 40 with the total duration of disruptions at 36 weeks, six days and nine hours. Further, the majority of the internet disruptions in India that Facebook recorded were in North and North East India.
The recorded internet disruptions in India include Jammu and Kashmir with the report highlighting the situation as “ongoing” till the end of the period. The Indian government suspended the internet services in the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir in August 2019 as it abolished the special status and bifurcated it into two Union Territories.
In comparison, India recorded 40 internet disruptions in the first half of 2019 but its total duration of the disruption was at eight weeks, two days and 22 hours.
Myanmar followed India with two disruptions in the second half of 2019 but its total duration of the disruption was at 35 weeks, one day and one hour.
The company recorded 45 internet disruptions in six countries in the second half of 2019 as compared to 67 disruptions in 15 countries in the first half of 2019.
“Because we believe that disrupting internet connectivity can undermine economic activity and free expression, we also report the number of deliberate internet disruptions caused by governments around the world that impact the availability of our products,” Facebook said.