In 2019, the Government demanded Facebook to handover with the highest number of users data. What did Facebook do? It complied with the request almost 88% of the time. But the worst part is that the Government wanted to keep its request in dark. The request was backed by a gag order which means that the users weren’t informed that their data was being transferred to the Government.
Facebook has reportedly said that it is now analyzing the posted content more precisely than ever, which means that any content that seems to be violating Facebook’s policy will be removed instantly or eventually. In 2019 alone, Facebook removed almost 11.6 million posts that were violating policies.
When does Facebook hand over data?
Facebook says that it only hands over data when it is bound by a legal document. This legal document is just like a search warrant which the Government issues to the social media giant.
Approximately, 90% of the requests were said to be bound by a legal document. These 90% requests mean the Government wants the data to check on the account holders if they are involved in any kind of illegal activity.
On the other hand, 10% of the total requests fall under the category of imminent danger or “emergency” This means that the account holder is either in or can be a cause of physical danger or death.
What is a Government data request?
The government requests data for the account holders that it thinks is somehow related to illegal activity such as kidnappings or robberies. With the advent of social media, it is possible to identify someone’s behavior by tracking their previous behavior, ideas and thoughts on social media. This Government request for data includes email addresses, IP addresses, locations, registered names, and phone numbers.
Is there any chance of Facebook informing you in case of a data request?
As per Facebook’s policy, “policy is to notify people who use our service of requests for their information prior to disclosure unless we are prohibited by law from doing so.”
However, you may not always get notified in case of a data request. Especially, if the data request concerns a sensitive matter such as child exploitation or other severe cases. Also, Facebook may also delay the notification until the non-disclosure contract ends.
Is there any way you can prevent it from happening?
The answer is a simple NO. There is no way for you to protect yourself against a data request for as long as you are using Facebook and sharing your momentary information. You see, while Facebook really tries to show an image that it works for the user benefit and never gives away information voluntarily, it has been known to do so many times in the past.
There is no security tool, for now, that can stop you from posting sensitive or private content on any kind of social media platform. So, the best way for you to save yourself is simply to stay away from the behemoth of social media or at least limit yourself from sharing too much information.
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