Facebook and Microsoft reveal the number of data security requests made by the Government

Facebook and Microsoft have officially revealed the number of security data requests made by the Government organizations.

A few days back, the world was shocked with the news of the existence of the PRISM program which collected emails, videos and other personal data directly from the tech companies. And in order to restore the confidence of their users, Facebook and Microsoft with the permission of the Government have disclosed the number of security data requests made by all the Government organizations.

facebook data security

In a blog post published yesterday, Microsoft executives revealed that the US Government made 6000 to 7000 requests last year seeking information about certain details of users accounts. Similarly, Facebook published that it had received around 9000 to 10000 requests last year for user data.

With this information published, the companies seek to regain the trust of their customers after several leaks suggested that the companies handed over their personal information to the US Government. Microsoft has asserted on the fact that the number of requests made by the Government are only a fraction of the total user base of the company. What they mean to say is that the company does not give unrestricted access to their user’s personal information and hence, users need not worry about the security of their personal information.

Microsoft said that the data security warrants affected around 31000 to 32000 accounts and promised that they would reveal more information about data disclosure to the public soon.

In the blog post Microsoft explains,

“This only impacts a tiny fraction of Microsoft’s global customer base. We continue to believe that what we are permitted to publish continues to fall short of what is needed to help the community understand and debate these issues.”

Facebook too revealed that they granted 79% of the requests and the warrants affected around 18,000 to 19,000 accounts worldwide.

But they insist that the company does not entertain all the requests made by the government.

In the blog post made yesterday evening, Facebook’s general counsel, Ted Ullyot added

“With more than 1.1 billion monthly active users worldwide, this means that a tiny fraction of one percent of our user accounts were the subject of any kind of U.S. state, local, or federal U.S. government request” during the six months. We hope this helps put into perspective the numbers involved and lays to rest some of the hyperbolic and false assertions in some recent press accounts about the frequency and scope of the data requests that we receive.”

Looks like both the companies are trying hard to clear off their names from this mess and have promised to reveal more information on their security data disclosure policies in the coming weeks.


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