Facebook recorded a minimal increase in overall government requests for account data in the second half of 2014, while requests from Western countries such as United States and United Kingdom dropped.
According to Facebook’s latest Global Government Requests Report released Monday, the social network received 35,051 requests in total from international governments for user data, as compared to 34,946 requests recorded during the first half of the year. The social giant saw a rise in requests for takedowns of content that allegedly violated local law.
“Overall, we continue to see an increase in government requests for data and content restrictions,” Facebook noted in a blog post.
“The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 11 percent over the previous half, to 9,707 pieces of content restricted, up from 8,774. We saw a rise in content restriction requests from countries like Turkey and Russia, and declines in places like Pakistan.”
The social network disclosed that it received 14,274 requests from the U.S. government for information covering 21,731 accounts. Data in around 79 percent of the cases was provided. The figure compares to a total of 15,433 requests made by the U.S. government in the first half of 2014.
Requests for user data by UK authorities declined slightly from 2,619 in the first half of 2014, to 2,366 in the second half of the year. Facebook provided data in two-thirds of the requests and restricted three pieces of content in the second half of the year.
Facebook received higher number of data requests from countries like India, Russia and Turkey in the second part of the year. In India, the total number rose from 4,559 in the first half to 5,473 in the second half of 2014. Data was provided in less than 45 percent of cases.
In France, Brazil, Germany, and Italy, requests for data in the second part was lower than the first part in 2014.
“We publish this information because we want people to know the extent and nature of the requests we receive from governments and the policies we have in place to process them,” Monika Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management noted in a blog post.
“We will continue to scrutinize each government request and push back when we find deficiencies. We will also continue to push governments around the world to reform their surveillance practices in a way that maintains the safety and security of their people while ensuring their rights and freedoms are protected.”
This is the fourth time that Facebook has provided details on government data requests and content restrictions.