Reportedly, the government of Pakistan has made 192 requests for data from Facebook. The number was reported by Digital Rights Foundation (DRF). Apparently, these 192 requests were made in the period between January 2015 and June 2015. Said report goes on to say that the government of Pakistan had requested information on 275 users. The government of Pakistan sent these data retrieval requests to Facebook in order to prosecute criminals and assists with several ongoing investigations. But who is to say how this information is used. Of course, the requests confirm the allegations against Facebook that they ‘sell’ or ‘distribute’ user data.
According to Facebook, only requests pertaining to actual criminal cases are entertained. Moreover, the social media giant stated that if a request is received from any government for that matter, it is first checked for legal sufficiency. If the requests are vague and doesn’t address the concern in an appropriate manner, the requests are considered invalid. However, Facebook can respond with a request of their own to provide further details on the matter. From the period between July 2014 and December 2014, the government of Pakistan made 100 requests for retrieval of data, which only increased in the following six months. It would appear that these numbers will continue to increase in the future.
Technically, social media networks and several IM applications available in the digital sphere, are perfectly capable of providing relevant information and may even be able to aid in capture of dangerous criminals around the world. We are all for privacy, digital and otherwise, but if the entire process regarding retrieval of personal data can somehow be streamlined, it should save the authorities a lot of time and valuable resources. The first step to achieve that would probably be complete and utter transparency. People should know exactly what they are signing up for, and under what circumstance their personal information can be distributed and to whom. At any rate, as long as there is sufficient criminal evidence against someone, such measures should make sense. However, extortion, exploitation, and hunches should not be allowed or entertained at any cost.You can follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for more updates. Otherwise fill in the subscription box above, or subscribe to our RSS Feed.