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Governments Worldwide Submitted 800k+ User Data Requests to Meta Last Year

The US government leads in both the number of requests and the volume of user data requested, alongside Germany, Israel, Brazil and others

Atlas VPN’s latest research reveals an upward trend in government requests for user data from Meta. Last year, Meta received a staggering 476,802 requests from governments across the globe, seeking user data.

These requests amounted to a total of 827,927 records, showcasing a remarkable 16% increase compared to the previous year and an astounding 971% surge since 2013.

In a noteworthy disclosure, Meta disclosed some data in response to 76.45% of the total requests received. The figures are obtained from the Meta transparency report, which contains government requests for user data starting from 2013.

This report also includes routine legal procedures as well as emergency disclosure requests. The user data requests consist of two key metrics: the number of requests a company receives from authorities and the number of accounts specified within those requests.

In the first six months of 2022, governments across the globe submitted 237,414 requests for data on 412,285 Meta users. In the second half of the year, the number of requests increased to 239,388, and the number of users whose data was requested rose to 415,642.

Since 2013, the Facebook parent company has received over 2.2 million government requests for user data concerning more than 3.6 million user accounts.

Top user data requests by country

Last year, Meta received data requests from governments in over 130 countries. However, there was variation in the distribution of requests, with some countries submitting more requests than others.

The US government leads in both the number of requests and the volume of user data requested. In 2022, Meta received data requests from the US government for 236,928 platform users, a 10% rise from the previous year. This translates to around 70.04 requests per 100,000 individuals.

Last year, the US government issued 133,511 user data requests to Meta, and the company complied at least partially with 88.07% of these requests.

Germany is a close second with 62.11 account requests per 100,000 individuals. In 2022, the German government requested data for 51,783 Meta user accounts, ranking the country fourth in the overall number of government requests.

Israel is placed third on the list with 60.50 accounts requested per 100,000 people.

Among the top 10 countries, Brazil stands out with 56.24 accounts requested per 100,000 individuals, followed by Singapore with 49.20, France with 46.66, Poland with 37.81, United Kingdom with 37.38, Taiwan with 34.04, and Belgium with 31.45.

India emerges as a significant player in terms of the overall number of account requests. In 2022, the Indian government submitted an astounding 119,349 requests concerning 198,015 Meta user accounts, marking a 32% increase from the previous year. However, the request count per 100,000 population is comparatively low at 13.97.

Written By

Isa Muhammad is a writer and video game journalist covering many aspects of entertainment media including the film industry. He's steadily writing his way to the sharp end of journalism and enjoys staying informed. If he's not reading, playing video games or catching up on his favourite TV series, then he's probably writing about them.

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