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| June 24, 2017

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Facebook to continue obliging global government requests for user data

Facebook to continue obliging global government requests for user data
Jason Leci

If I learnt anything from the Ed Snowden and NSA Prism episode, it was that the risk of the collated user information getting compromised is just perceived as collateral damage by the agencies involved and that it would not stop. So this latest Global Government Request Report released by Facebook on Tuesday did not surprise me one bit.

Penned down by Facebook General Counsel’s Colin Stretch, the report is for the first six months of 2013 ending June 30th and the list indicates US, India, UK, Germany and Italy as the top requesters for user information. It also said that Facebook is pushing for greater transparency in this regard and that Facebook will remain committed to releasing detailed data in future with regularity.

 Personal View

As much as we complain, there is no getting around the fact that government will continue to request for user information in the name of and for the sake of national safety and security and to avert potential threats. It is also a given that Facebook and other social media outlets are not the only mode for collection of data of this nature.

From a neutral perspective, I can appreciate the fact that Facebook has been honest enough to make the disclosure report available to general population and that it strongly advocates greater transparency from the government and agencies’ end in terms of reasons for requests of user data. And this is a sentiment that is shared by Rights group Privacy International.

However, the irksome side of the whole affair is that this is a global level practice of data collection will never cease; And all this to detect a needle in a haystack during a barn fire which would only make the haystack more susceptible to catching fire.

Too much of an allusion?! Don’t worry, it is pretty comprehensible.

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