263 Facebook user details requested by Singapore Government: Report

263 Facebook user details requested by Singapore Government: Report

SINGAPORE: The details of 263 Facebook users were requested by the Singapore Government between January and June this year, the social media company revealed in a report released on Monday (Dec 18). 

The Government made a total of 204 requests for such information, according to the Facebook Transparency Report. Facebook complied with 59 per cent of the requests. 

The requests included all services under Facebook, including WhatsApp and Instagram.

Called the Government Requests Report previously, the report disclosed government requests for account data, content restrictions and internet disruptions. 

Facebook said that the "vast majority of these requests relate to criminal cases, such as robberies or kidnappings". Every request is checked for "legal sufficiency", with authorities required to provide a detailed description of the "legal and factual basis" of their request. 

"In many of these cases, the government is requesting basic subscriber information, such as name and length of service," Facebook said. 

The Singapore Government also made eight requests for 15 users or accounts to preserve their account information for up to 90 days to help with criminal investigations. 

In an email to Channel NewsAsia, Singapore Police Force said that the request for information from Facebook "is not unlike other types of requests with other entities" when establishing the details of a case during investigation. 

"Depending on the circumstances of the case, police will request for relevant information from Facebook as well as from other entities," added police. 

Globally, the number of requests for user data has increased by 21 per cent compared to the second half of 2016. 

The United States made the most requests, with 32,716 requests for 52,280 users. This was followed by India - 9,853 requests for 13,752 users - and United Kingdom, who made 6,845 requests for 8,167 users. 

Singapore ranks 26th among the 129 countries listed in the report. Malaysia ranked 55th with 25 such requests for 28 users. 

Source: CNA/ng