Facebook has released its second report on government requests for data, and it shows Canadian law enforcement asked for data on 366 Facebook users last year, involving 436 separate accounts.
There were 174 requests in the second half of 2013, down slightly from 192 requests in the first half. Of those requests, Facebook handed data over in slightly less than half of all cases.
But Canada’s numbers pale in comparison to the U.S., where there were some 23,000 to 24,000 law enforcement requests, and Facebook handed over data in roughly 80 per cent of those cases.
(The U.S. numbers are vague because the initial report covering the first half of 2013 gave only an estimate, of 11,000 to 12,000 requests for that period.)
Adjusted for the difference in population, that indicates U.S. authorities are about 13 times as likely as Canadian authorities to request Facebook data.
Facebook’s report follows Google’s latest transparency report, released late last month, which showed 101 law enforcement requests for information in Canada in 2013. Google handed over some data for only about 26 per cent of the requests.
That compares to some 20,500 requests in the U.S., with data handed over in 83 per cent of cases.
The Facebook report comes as privacy concerns grow over the social media site’s desire to monetize user data.
An Ontario woman launched a class-action lawsuit this week on behalf of all Canadian Facebook users, alleging the company violated her privacy, and the privacy of all 18 million Canadian Facebook users, by culling URL addresses in private messages.
A similar class-action lawsuit was launched in the U.S. in January. The suits stem from an experiment carried out earlier this year, in which Swiss researchers created “dummy” URLs not known to the public that they embedded in private messages, creating “traps” to see if the links would be clicked.
Facebook was among the sites where the dummy URLs were clicked, although similar activity was seen on Google+ and Twitter.
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