It's not a huge surprise that the government wants to get its hands on your online data - we already know that it forced major companies like Google, Apple, Yahoo and Facebook to help the NSA with spying efforts a few years ago. But, even with the public backlash over spying, governments are asking for Facebook data more than ever. In the past year alone, demands for Facebook user data by governments around the world has risen 24%.
Facebook received data requests that affected nearly 50,000 accounts from governments in the first half of the year. Most of those requests came from the U.S.
Facebook says a total of 34,946 user data requests covering 49,479 accounts were made - an increase of 24% - with the US again leading the way with 15,433 inquiries. India made 4,559 requests, and Germany, France, the UK, Italy and Brazil all made over 1,000 requests for information on users.
So, the government is trying to gather a lot of data on users. And, we all know that Facebook itself is gathering data on users, too. At this point, who isn't collecting our Facebook information?
Facebook, for its part, doesn't just hand over your data when the government comes calling. It looks at why the government needs the information and whether the request is actually legal.
The company's Deputy General Counsel Chris Sonderby assured users of that in a blog post:
We scrutinize every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests...
...While we recognize that governments need to take action to protect their citizens’ safety and security, we believe all government data requests must be narrowly tailored, proportionate to the case in review, and subject to strict judicial oversight.
Facebook has gone to court to try and protect user information in the past.
Oversharing on social media is the easiest way to give government snoops and other lurkers easy access to your information. Click here to find out what you should never share on Facebook.