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The government asked Facebook for details of 40 users so far this year

In its first ever transparency report, Facebook said it received more than 25,000 requests from governments around the world about users’ information.

Image: Facebook homepage via Shutterstock

Updated 22.58

THE IRISH GOVERNMENT asked Facebook for information about 40 users in the first six months of this year.

In Facebook’s first ever transparency report published today, the social network said it produced ‘some’ data in response to 71 per cent of the requests. However it did not go into specifics about the nature of the requests or the type of information released to the government.

Facebook said today that it had received more than 25,000 requests  from governments around the world about users, with the vast majority coming from the United States.

India had the second-highest number of requests, with Facebook recording 3,245 requests on 4.144 users, followed by the UK with 1,875 requests on 2,337 users.

The report said there were a total of 34 requests from the Irish government about 40 different users.

It is the latest US tech company to publish information about government data requests in a bid to give more information to users about government surveillance.

The social network said that the vast majority of government requests to Facebook were about criminal cases, such as robberies and kidnapping, in which the government was looking for basic user information such as a name. Other requests seek IP address logs or actual account content.

A lawyer for Facebook said that the company hopes to provide more information about the requests it receives from law enforcement authorities in future.

“As we have said many times, we believe that while government have an important responsibility to keep people safe, it is possible to do so while also being transarent,” said Colin Stretch, general counsel for Facebook.

“We strongly encourage all governments to provide greater transparency about their efforts aimed at keeping the public safe, and we will continue to be aggressive advocates for greater disclosure,” he said.

Originally published 17.18

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