SAN FRANCISCO — You can thank former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden for a new report from Facebook on the inquiries it gets from governments around the world for information on its more than 1 billion users.
According to the giant social network, governments in 74 countries sought information on more than 38,000 Facebook users in the first half of 2013. More than half of those requests came from the United States — about 20,000 to 21,000 — and Facebook said it produced some data in response to 80 percent of those requests. Facebook said it required governments to meet a “very high legal bar” to receive the information.
“We fight many of these requests, pushing back when we find legal deficiencies and narrowing the scope of overly broad or vague requests,” Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch said Tuesday. “When we are required to comply with a particular request, we frequently share only basic user information, such as name.”
Facebook said it would publish information on data requests on a regular basis. Google, Twitter and Microsoft have released similar information for years.
The Facebook report is the result of allegations made by Snowden that nearly every major Internet company, including Facebook, Google and Microsoft, hands over the personal information of users to national intelligence agencies.