Fewer Australian cop requests for Facebook data

Government requests for data in the first half of the year were down compared to the last six months of 2014, but higher than during the same period last year

Australian government organisations made fewer requests for user data from Facebook in the first half of 2015 compared to the six-month period ending December 2014. However, figures released by the social networking site show an increase in requests compared to the first half of 2014.

Facebook has released its Government Requests Report, showing Australian requests for user data in the first half of the year dropped to 693 (covering 744 individual accounts), compared to 829 (covering 933 users) in the six months to December 2014 and 610 requests (covering 650 users) in the first half of 2014.

In 64.94 per cent of cases the social media site handed over data.

Facebook also revealed it blocked one piece of content in compliance with federal anti-discrimination laws.

Facebook says it responds to valid requests for user data relating to criminal cases. Requests are checked for legal legal sufficiency and it rejects or requires greater specificity for requests that are overly broad or vague, the report said.

Globally there is a trend to increasing in content restrictions and government requests for data, Facebook's deputy general counsel, Chris Sonderby, wrote in a blog entry about n the latest report.

"The amount of content restricted for violating local law increased by 112% over the second half of 2014, to 20,568 pieces of content, up from 9,707," Sonderby wrote.

"Government requests for account data increased across all countries by 18% over the same period, from 35,051 requests to 41,214."

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