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Nepal government requests for personal data from Facebook

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Image Credit – Creative Commons

29 May 2021 – Kathmandu

The government of Nepal has requested the personal data of 689 Facebook users in 2020. In 2019, the government of Nepal had requested data from Facebook of 476 users. In the graph shown below, taken from Transparency report published by Facebook every 6 months, it is seen that the number of requests of data from the government of Nepal has been increasing every year.

Image Credit – Facebook Transparency Reports

The report published by Facebook mentions that between July to December 2020, the total number of data requests to Facebook was 406 by the government of Nepal. Out of which 380 were legal process requests and 26 were Emergency disclosure requests. It is found that in 62% of requests, some data was provided by Facebook.

Facebook has been providing data to the government on a case by case basis depending on the local law and its own terms of service. Facebook mentions it strictly adheres to the data privacy law of the country. In some circumstances, Facebook also rejects the claim to provide the persona data if it doesn’t get enough legal basis. 

In the biannual transparency report published this year, Facebook said that the number of requests from the government all around the world requesting data has reached an all-time high. The USA has been submitting the most requests as per Facebook. The users are raising questions about privacy as Facebook release such information to the government. Though Facebook mentions that it provides the data only if gets enough legal sufficiency, questions are being raised about the right to privacy. 

Moreover, Facebook had a disastrous year in 2018 where it spooked in controversy after it was found guilty of compromising users data. The #DeleteFacebook hashtag went trending during that year.  Elon Musk (Founder-CEO of Space-X, Tesla), Brian Acton (co-founder of Whatsapp), Will Ferrell (Actor and Comedian) and many others supported this hashtag and deleted their account. 

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