Netherlands authorities' Facebook data requests up 85 percent

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Investigators in the Netherlands made 76 formal requests to Facebook for data in the last six months of 2014, the social media network revealed on Monday. Specific data about Facebook user accounts was requested 84 times, with some proposals covering multiple accounts at once.

The figures were 85- and 87-percent higher than the preceding six-month period. It is the third-straight rise since Facebook began releasing the statistics in 2013.

Facebook released at least some data in over 64 percent of cases.

“We respond to valid requests relating to criminal cases,” Facebook said in a statement on the site. “Each and every request we receive is checked for legal sufficiency and we reject or require greater specificity on requests that are overly broad or vague.”


Six-month period  Total requests Pct. Change Account data requests Pct. Change Pct. requests with at some data provided 
 July 2014 - December 2014  76  85.4%  84  86.7%  64.5%
 January 2014 - June 2014  41  78.3%  45  60.7%  56.1%
  July 2013 - December 2013  23  109.1%  28  86.7%  36.4%
 January 2013 - June 2013  11  n/a  15  n/a  36.0%

The site claims 35,051 requests for data were made from government agencies worldwide, only slightly higher than the first six months of 2014. Most requests came from the U.S., totaling 14,274, of which nearly 80 percent saw the release of some data. In those cases, the requests overwhelmingly came by way of search warrant, subpoena or emergency disclosure needs.

No such breakdown was given for the Dutch market.