UK government Facebook data requests rise 24% in 6 months

The latest Government Requests Report from Facebook shows an increase in requests for data by the UK government of 24% (from the previous 6 month period).

The United Kingdom made 4,190 requests referencing a total of 5,478 user accounts, putting it in third place globally behind the USA and India for the volume of requests made.

The number of requests was over 50% more than those made by France in 5th place and 33% more than Germany in 4th place.

The top 10 countries that requested data from Facebook

Facebook’s latest report covers the period from July to December 2015.  When comparing the UK’s number of requests to the same period in 2014 the rise is even sharper, showing a 77% increase.

Authorities can request user data from Facebook under the terms of its Law Enforcement Guidelines.  This policy allows government to request that Facebook produce data that can be used for criminal investigations, child exploitation or risk of death or serious physical injury to a person.

From the requests made by the UK, just over 82% resulted in data being produced by Facebook for government use (a 4% rise over the previous 6 month period).

The use of Facebook data can be of prime importance in crime prevention and investigation in the digital age and the UK’s pursuit of Facebook is in stark contrast to the much lower volume from other nations highlighted below.  The number to the left of the country name indicates their position in the list out of 91 countries:

  • 9th – Australia – 802
  • 12th – Spain – 536
  • 19th – Belgium – 290
  • 21st – Sweden – 260
  • 26th – Netherlands – 158
  • 31st – Ireland – 56
  • 45th – Denmark – 17
  • 87th – South Africa – 1

The full interactive report can be accessed on Facebook’s dedicated website by clicking here.

The data can be downloaded in CSV format by clicking on the green button below the map and allows you to select any 6 month period dating back to January 2013.


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