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Facebook, Microsoft release stats on data requests — ‘tiny fraction’ of customers involved
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Facebook, Microsoft release stats on data requests — ‘tiny fraction’ of customers involved

msfbIn a pair of weblog posts in a single day, Fb and Microsoft launched new numbers that shed extra gentle on the amount of requests that they get from authorities officers — together with nationwide safety requests.

The fastidiously worded disclosures observe efforts by huge tech firms to steer federal officers to allow them to disclose extra data publicly, to handle public concern about privateness following reviews that the NSA collects massive quantities of data from them.

The Fb put up is available here, and reads partially …

We’ve reiterated in current days that we scrutinize each authorities data request that we obtain – whether or not from state, native, federal, or international governments. We’ve additionally made clear that we aggressively defend our customers’ data when confronted with such requests: we regularly reject such requests outright, or require the federal government to considerably scale down its requests, or just give the federal government a lot much less data than it has requested. And we reply solely as required by legislation. …

For the six months ending December 31, 2012, the entire quantity of user-data requests Fb acquired from any and all authorities entities within the U.S. (together with native, state, and federal, and together with legal and nationwide security-related requests) – was between 9,000 and 10,000. These requests run the gamut – from issues like an area sheriff looking for a lacking baby, to a federal marshal monitoring a fugitive, to a police division investigating an assault, to a nationwide safety official investigating a terrorist menace. The whole quantity of Fb consumer accounts for which data was requested pursuant to the whole lot of these 9-10 thousand requests was between 18,000 and 19,000 accounts.

With greater than 1.1 billion month-to-month lively customers worldwide, because of this a tiny fraction of one p.c of our consumer accounts had been the topic of any sort of U.S. state, native, or federal U.S. authorities request (together with legal and nationwide security-related requests) previously six months. We hope this helps put into perspective the numbers involved, and lays to relaxation some of the hyperbolic and false assertions in some current press accounts in regards to the frequency and scope of the data requests that we obtain.

And right here’s an excerpt from Microsoft’s post.

Here’s what the data exhibits: For the six months ended December 31, 2012, Microsoft acquired  between 6,000 and seven,000 legal and nationwide safety warrants, subpoenas and orders affecting between 31,000 and 32,000 shopper accounts from U.S. governmental entities (together with native, state and federal). This solely impacts a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s world buyer base. …

We have now not acquired any nationwide safety orders of the kind that Verizon was reported to have acquired that required Verizon to supply enterprise information about U.S. customers.

We respect the hassle by U.S. authorities in the present day to permit us to report extra data. We perceive they should weigh fastidiously the impacts on nationwide safety of permitting extra disclosures. With extra time, we hope they’ll take additional steps. Transparency alone is probably not sufficient to revive public confidence, but it surely’s an ideal place to start out.

Each firms are nonetheless restricted to wrapping the nationwide safety numbers into the broader data, and solely reporting the data in bands of hundreds. “We’re nonetheless not permitted to verify whether or not we now have acquired any FISA orders, but when we had been to have acquired any they’d now be included in our combination volumes,” writes Microsoft, noting that it hopes the federal government permits the corporate to go additional sooner or later.

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