In the first half of 2020, the government placed 241 requests, up 2.5 times year-on-year
The Bangladesh government has made the highest number of requests to Facebook in the last seven years for user data.
In the first half of 2020, the government placed 241 requests, up 2.5 times year-on-year, according to Facebook’s global transparency report.
During the period, the government also requested information on 371 specific accounts/users, up from 123 a year earlier.
Facebook though has not entertained all the requests made in 2020: 44 per cent were accepted.
“If Facebook sees that the users have violated the laws and are involved in criminal activities, they respond to us and give us data according to the legal process,” said Zakir Hossain, deputy director of the Bangladesh Telecommunication Regulatory Commission.
In most of the cases, the government seeks information on threats of religious incitement and state security matters.
“Earlier, Facebook was not that responsive. But now, they are responding to our queries -- that’s good,” he added.
The social media giant responded to the Bangladesh government’s request for the first time in the second half of 2015.
The number of requests was below 12 in 2013-2016 and 44-205 in 2017-2018.
In 2013, the government made only one request to Facebook, which increased to 7 in 2014 and then dropped to 3 in 2015.
The frequency at which the government has started seeking user information from the California-based tech giant started increasing from 2016.
It was 10 in 2016, 44 in 2017 and 152 in 2018.
It dropped in 2019 to 95. But this year,it soared to 241.