Facebook: 74 Countries Demanded Info on Users

US behind more than half 38K requests this year

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Aug 28, 2013 2:15 AM CDT
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(Newser) – American police and intelligence agencies are by far the most eager to get their hands on the data of Facebook users, the company has revealed in its first detailed report on such requests. Facebook says that in the first half of this year, it received requests for information on around 38,000 users from 74 countries, with the US responsible for requests on between 20,000 and 21,000 users, Reuters reports. The company says it complied at least partially with around 80% of the requests.

"We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests," a Facebook spokesman says. The company granted 45 requests from Turkish agencies but it denies any of them were related to protest organizers, the AP reports. In other Facebook news, a lawsuit has been settled with an agreement to pay 614,000 Facebook users $15 each for using their information for advertising in its "Sponsored Stories" campaign, reports the Christian Science Monitor. The campaign used the images of around 150 million users but only those who entered a claim before May this year will get the payout.

Facebook says governments need to meet a very high legal bar for data requests to get a thumbs-up.
Facebook says governments need to meet a "very high legal bar" for data requests to get a thumbs-up.   (AP Photo/Ben Margot, File)
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