Rise in number of requests for data from Facebook in Ireland

Reuters

The ninth Facebook transparency report also showed that government requests for information about users increased 21 percent worldwide compared with the second half of 2016, from 64,279 to 78,890.

Facebook also said that for the first time, it has expanded the report beyond government requests to provide data regarding reports from rights holders related to intellectual property - covering copyright, trademark and counterfeit. Each government had over half their submissions granted, with the United Kingdom (90 percent), USA (85 percent), and France (74 percent) in the lead. In the second half of 2016, by contrast, the company only restricted content about 7,000 times - meaning takedown requests quadrupled in the category. Rightsholders can send takedown requests for unauthorised uses to a team of Facebook content analysts. From 2013 through 2015, for instance, Facebook, Google, and Twitter all saw increases in government requests for user data.

Facebook also took action against more than 300,000 counterfeit content marketed and sold across its platforms, and took down almost 150,000 pieces of trademark infringing content.

If one looks at the entire data shared in Facebook's Transparency report, India is number two in the list after the United States when it comes to the volume of requests. Of the data requests submitted by USA law enforcement, 57 per cent also contained non-discloser orders, meaning that Facebook was prohibited from notifying the user.

Mr Sonderby said Facebook tried to ensure it handed over as little data as possible.

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Facebook's Transparency report 2017: Over 9,690 requests were regarding legal process with the government and they asked for access to 13,490 user accounts. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, Facebook "push back, and will fight in court, if necessary".

Facebook had seen a big increase in the number of requests to stop people seeing content that broke local laws, said Mr Sonderby.

Facebook removed 1,818,794 posts due to copyright infringement from the site in that period, and 685,996 posts from Instagram because of copyright infringement.

The social media company also took down 217,265 posts from Facebook driven by counterfeit claims, and 108,094 from Instagram.

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