Government Requests for Facebook User Data Rose 7% in the Second Half of 2018 – Adweek

Facebook received 110,634 government requests for user data in the second half of 2018, up 7% from 103,815 in the first half of 2018, according to its latest Transparency Report, which was released Thursday.

The social network said the uptick in the second half of last year was normal compared with previous reporting periods.

The most requests came from the U.S., followed by India, the U.K., Germany and France.

Vice president and deputy general counsel Chris Sonderby said in a Newsroom post that requests from the U.S. were actually down 3% from the first half of 2018, adding that 58% of those included nondisclosure orders, which prohibited Facebook from notifying the affected users.

Sonderby also detailed an error in Facebook’s accounting methods for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act content requests, saying that it resulted in “a significant undercounting of the number of accounts specified in those requests, as well as overcounting of the number of requests in one half,” dating back to 2015. The previous and revised numbers are available in the report.

The volume of content restrictions based on local laws surged by 135% in the second half of 2018 from the first half of last year, jumping from 15,337 to 35,972.

Sonderby said the spike was largely caused by an order issued by the Delhi High Court in India regarding claims made about PepsiCo products, which accounted for 16,600 of those restrictions.

There were 53 disruptions of Facebook services in nine countries during the second half of last year, compared with 48 disruptions in eight countries during the previous reporting period. India accounted for 85% of total new global disruptions.

Finally, 2,595,410 pieces of content were removed from Facebook and Instagram during the second half of 2018, based on 511,706 copyright reports; 215,877 pieces of content were removed from the two platforms based on 81,243 trademark reports; and 781,875 pieces of content were pulled based on 62,829 counterfeit reports.

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