Facebook releases user data to police and intelligence services
The British Government made nearly 2,000 demands for information about Facebook users in the first half of this year, the social network said.
The site complied with 68% of the requests which related to 2,337 accounts, according to its latest report.
Facebook said agents in 74 countries sought information on some 38,000 users of the service in the six-month period – with about half the orders coming from authorities in the United States.
The site's decision to release this data – which relates to inquiries from police and intelligence agencies – follows similar moves by Microsoft and Google.
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Its first Global Government Requests Report reveals British authorities made 1,975 demands for information in the first half of this year.
Colin Stretch, of Facebook, said Mark Zuckerberg's site chose to publish the data to "make sure that the people who use our service understand the nature and extent of the requests we receive".
He promised the social network would provide "even more information" about the demands from law enforcement authorities in future reports.
"We believe that while governments have an important responsibility to keep people safe, it is possible to do so while also being transparent," he wrote.
"Government transparency and public safety are not mutually exclusive ideals," he wrote. "Each can exist simultaneously in free and open societies, and they help make us stronger.
"We strongly encourage all governments to provide greater transparency about their efforts aimed at keeping the public safe, and we will continue to be aggressive advocates for greater disclosure."
He added: "We hope this report will be useful to our users in the ongoing debate about the proper standards for government requests for user information in official investigations."
Facebook also said it resisted a significant number of demands for information.