UK government Facebook data requests grow 71%

Only US and India ask for more user details from the social network

Governments are making far more data requests from Facebook than ever before, with the UK asking for the third highest number of information records from the social network.

The UK asked for 4,489 user or account details between January and June 2015, according to Facebook's latest bi-annual Government Requests Report spanning the period, with 78 per cent of those requests being successful.

This is a 71 per cent year-on-year rise, and the number is 82 per cent of the 5,509 total data requests Whitehall made across the entirety of 2014.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg's social network claims that it only responds to "valid requests relating to criminal cases", and that every demand is "checked for legal sufficiency".

However, this is likely to be of little comfort to data privacy advocates, many of whom have criticised the track record of both Facebook and the government.

Whitehall's 'Snooper's Charter', which proposes the mandatory storing of people's internet histories, has been lambasted in particular, with the bill coming under significant fire from everyone from Edward Snowden to Dell.

Only the US and India surpassed the UK's demand for Facebook data, with the US making an unrivalled 26,579 user or account detail requests, and India asking for information on 6,268 users or accounts.

India was also the country that blocked the most Facebook content, restricting over 15,000 posts on the grounds that they contained "anti-religious and hate speech that could cause unrest and disharmony within India".

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