Twitter reports huge surge in UK government data requests

Twitter reveals latest numbers on data requests from governments

Twitter has reported a 52 percent increase in the number of data requests on user accounts from government agencies around the world. Requests for data on accounts in the UK more than doubled.

The latest six-month Twitter transparency report covers January to June 2015,  and shows that 4,363 requests for information were submitted to Twitter, covering 12,711 accounts across Twitter, Periscope and Vine.

Twitter said that 58 percent of these requests resulted in “some data” being released to the authorities. A request for information generally relates to criminal investigations.

The US continues to submit the most requests, at 2,436 in the six-month period relating to 6,324 accounts. This equates to 56 percent of all requests received. Twitter complied 80 percent of the time.

UK requests for information to Twitter more than doubled, to 299 relating to 1,041 accounts. Twitter handed over data on 52 percent of occasions, equating to seven percent of all requests.

These figures compare with 116 requests from UK authorities relating to 371 accounts in the previous six months. Twitter complied 24 percent of the time.

This notable increase in the UK figures, and the times when Twitter handed over data, suggests that UK authorities are getting better at understanding how they can glean data from Twitter profiles, and requesting it in a way that yields information.

Twitter also revealed data on requests for content to be removed from its sites, generally because it was deemed illegal by being defamatory or containing prohibited content in a given country.

Twitter received 1,003 requests of this kind relating to 3,594 accounts. The company complied on 42 percent of occasions. Turkey was by far and away the biggest submitter of requests, at 718, with 34 percent of requests successful.

The overall increase in requests to Twitter from across the globe was noted by Jeremy Kessel, senior manager for global legal policy at the firm, in a blog post.

“This is the largest increase in requests and affected accounts between reporting periods since we began publishing the Transparency Report in 2012,” he said.

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12 August 2015 | 9:23 am – Source: v3.co.uk

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