You like? Facebook releases new (and improved!) transparency report

Another day, another see-through report from a tech company. (OK, so we’re trying to make the topic a little sexier.) What’s new in Facebook’s second-ever transparency report: The company has included statistics about Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service it owns. And besides the numbers about government requests for data, the report also now includes requests to take down illegal content.

Some information from the latest report, which covers worldwide requests during the last six months of 2013: The United States had the most law-enforcement requests for data, 12,598. As for National Security Letters, the company had the popular 0-999 requests — the government requires companies to report those requests in batches of 1,000. The company said it has to wait six months before it can disclose the latest numbers of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) requests it has received.

Some have criticized company transparency reports (or their contents, which don’t provide detail beyond numbers) as mostly meaningless — Twitter itself has done so. But in the case of Facebook — the social-networking giant that pioneered oversharing — those who tend to post/brag about their legally questionable activities might want to note that in the U.S., the company handed over some data for 81 percent of law-enforcement requests. Just a friendly PSA.

And in case you can’t get enough, Facebook also has included links to other tech companies’ transparency reports.


Photo of giant Facebook Like icon by Kirstina Sangsahachart/Palo Alto Daily News


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