*Government increases requests for Facebook personal data by 27 percent

Declan Dunn, TechViews News   …..

Worldwide governmental requests for Facebook personal data amounted to nearly 60,000 times in the first half of 2016, a 27 percent increase over requests made in the second half of 2015, according to a Facebook bi-annual report published last week.

The company claims it reviews each request to determine whether or not it has merit, especially in emergency cases where imminent risk of serious injury or harm is involved. It ultimately handed over data in 80 percent of cases.

That means that 80 % of the requests for YOUR personal information was granted regardless if you were a suspect in a crime or not. This, of course, raised privacy advocates’ concerns over why the governments around the world are amassing large data bases of personal data on private citizens.

The 27 percent jump for the latest reporting period compares to a 13 percent increase between the first and second halves of 2015, and 18 percent growth between the second half of 2014 and the first half of 2015.

Most request categories in the US came from law enforcement running standard–procedure information checks on traffic and simple arrest backgrounds. Another category was IP address traces for citizens on a variety of suspicious-persons lists.

There were also up to 499 secret requests made for data under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Companies are prohibited from disclosing detailed figures for FISA requests, and they must delay reporting the aggregate figures for at least six months.

The big looming question there is if only 499 requests were made as FISA requests, what were the other 59,501 requests for?

“We do not provide governments with ‘back doors’ or direct access to people’s information,” Facebook Deputy General Counsel wrote in a blog post. “We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms.”

Be Safe – Backup Your Data Regularly!

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