Facebook Did Not Divulge User Data To Kenyan Authorities In The Second Half Of 2016

facebook government requests 2016

Facebook usually releases its transparency report, which includes Government Requests report that highlights the number of requests by government to Facebook to hand over user data. You can understand why governments may want to do this since their citizens are probably among the almost 2 billion strong user base.

The last time Facebook outed a report was last year and it was for the year 2015. In that time, they revealed that they had received 5 requests from government agencies between January 2015 and June 2015 of 6 accounts and 20% of the requests were honoured by Facebook.

This time round, the results are slightly different. According to Facebook, between July 2016 and December 2016, there was one request made for legal purposes about one account. However, Facebook did not hand over the data of that user or account. In addition, there were no requests for any emergency.

The figures posted by Facebook are a step down from what we saw in 2015 and it still shows that Facebook is committed in not handing over user data unless they have criminal charges against them.

Facebook says that they only respond to valid requests relating to criminal cases and they check every request for legal sufficiency and can reject those that are broad or vague.

In general, Facebook revealed that in the second half of 2016, government requests for user data increased by 9% globally compared to the first half of 2016 (64,279 vs 59,229). However, the number of content restrictions for violating local laws went down by 28% compared to the first half of the year (6,994 vs 9,663).