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FB user data requests from Indian govt increased in 2021: Meta

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New Delhi, Nov 10 (IANS) India with 45,275 requests was once again second to the US in terms of asking Meta (formerly Facebook) to provide user data in the first half of 2021, and social network restricted access in India to 442 items in response to directions from the Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology (MeitY).

The restricted access was due to violating Section 69A of the Information Technology Act, 2000, including content against security of the state and public order.

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“We also restricted access to 22 items in response to reports received from the Elections Commission of India. Additionally, we restricted access to 65 items in response to other valid court orders and to six items in response to private reports of defamation,” Meta said in a statement late on Tuesday.

From January-June 2021, Facebook received a total of 45,275 requests (legal/emergency) from the Indian government. In the earlier July-December 2020 period, the total requests from the Indian government were 40,300.

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The Indian government also requested Facebook to provide data of 68,485 users, of which 51 per cent requests were met with, informed Meta.

The company, however, did not reveal the nature of the requests from the Indian government.

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In the July-December 2020 period, the social network had restricted access in India to 878 items in response to directions from MeitY.

Meta announced earlier this month that the social network removed over 30 million pieces of content in September on Facebook and Instagram in India.

The social network acted upon 26.9 million pieces of content across 10 policies for Facebook and over 3.2 million pieces of content across 9 policies for Instagram in compliance with the Information Technology (Intermediary Guidelines and Digital Media Ethics Code) Rules, 2021, the company said in its monthly compliance report.

Globally, during the first six months of 2021, government requests for user data increased 10.5 per cent from 1,91,013 to 2,11,055.

Of the total volume, the US continues to submit the largest number of requests, followed by India, Germany, France, Brazil and the UK.

“In the US, we received 63,657 requests, which was 4 per cent more than the total we received in the second half of 2020,” the company said.

During the period, the volume of content restrictions based on local law increased globally 11 per cent from 42,606 in H2 2020 to 47,365 in H1 2021, driven mainly by increases in requests from Mexico, Argentina, Germany, Italy, Taiwan and Pakistan.

“In the first half of 2021, we identified 62 disruptions of Meta technologies in 17 countries, compared to 91 disruptions in 18 countries in the second half of 2020,” said the company.

–IANS

na/dpb

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