India made the most requests in Asia, Pakistan second and Taiwan third. Indonesia only made two requests
The Singapore Government made 214 requests to Facebook for access to the user data of 239 profile accounts in the second half of 2015 and on 76.17 per cent of such applications ‘some data was produced’, according to data released by Facebook today.
This number makes the city-state the fourth-most prolific requester of user data in APAC behind India, Pakistan and Taiwan. India had 5,561 requests covering 7,018 accounts (making it the clear leader), Pakistan made 471 requests for 706 accounts while Taiwan’s number was 333 applications for 537 accounts.
“This report, which covers the second half of 2015, provides information about the number of government requests we received for data, and the number of items restricted for violating local law in countries where our service is available,” wrote Chris Sonderby, Deputy General Counsel at Facebook in the post.
Hong Kong and South Korea were the other two countries with a relatively high number of requests. Hong Kong had 113 for 176 accounts and South Korea’s numbers were 52 requests and 72 accounts.
Afterwards, there is a precipitous drop-off to Bangladesh (12 and 31) and Malaysia (13 and 18). No other country in Asia surpassed 10 requests.
Furthermore, large countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, Thailand and Vietnam all had an extremely low number of requests as compared to some of their neighbours.
Indonesia only made two requests for three accounts, Japan made four for six accounts, the Philippines also made four requests for five accounts, Thailand was three and three while Vietnam also only made one request for two accounts.
The Myanmar government did not make any requests.
China is the obvious exemption from this list as it has blocked access to Facebook.
Below is a chart of the ‘number of requests’ to help visualise the data. Inside the teal area we see Pakistan in blue, Taiwan in pink and Singapore in orange. The noticeable green is Hong Kong.
Asia, in general, made far less requests of Facebook than the West. Countries such as France, Germany, Italy, Brazil, and the United Kingdom all making between 1,000 and 4,200 requests.
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The United States blew the rest of the world away. The US government more than quadrupled the second most requests (UK) with 19,235 requests for 30,041 accounts, and 81.41 per cent of those requests were granted.
The report concluded with the following statement from Sonderby,
“Over the last few years, we’ve regularly published information about the nature and extent of the requests we receive. To protect the information of the people that use our service, we will continue to apply a rigorous approach to every government request we receive. We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms.”
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