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Facebook: Who needs millennials? The cops love us more than ever!

Social network says police, government requests for data and takedowns booming

Facebook says police and government agents' requests for users' information as well as takedown demands are increasing.

The social network's latest transparency report, published Monday and covering the first half of 2017, noted that, compared to the back half of last year…

  • Law enforcement requests for account data climbed 21 per cent, up from 64,279 to 78,890.
  • The US now accounts for more than half of requests, claiming 57 per cent of all data demands, up from 50 per cent last year. Of the 32, 716 requests made, Facebook says it coughed up some or all of the requested info 85 per cent of the time.
  • Authorities in the UK were even more successful, as 90 per cent of the 6,845 requests Facebook got ended up with some or all data being handed over.
  • Takedown demands globally shot up a staggering 304 per cent from 6,944 to 28,036, though that comes with a caveat. Facebook says that gain: "was primarily driven by a request from Mexican law enforcement to remove instances of a video depicting a school shooting in Monterrey in January. We restricted access in Mexico to 20,506 instances of the video in the first half of 2017.
  • Takedowns of the Facebook service itself also climbed, as Facebook says there were 52 disruptions of its service in nine countries over the second half.

The report comes just days after Facebook revealed that, in addition to coughing up your personal details to g-men, its service was quite possibly ruining your mental and emotional state, citing to a series of studies into the negative effects of prolonged social network use.

As it did with that dataset, Facebook – which is gradually falling out of favor with teens and millennials – used this report to re-up its commitment to protecting its addicts.

"We continue to carefully scrutinize each request we receive for account data — whether from an authority in the US, Europe, or elsewhere — to make sure it is legally sufficient. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back, and will fight in court, if necessary," Facebook said.

"We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to encourage 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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