Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 28th 2013 Contents A39
Wednesday, August 28, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Government agencies around the world
demanded access to the information of
over 38,000 Facebook users in the first
half of this year, and more than half the
orders came from the United States, the
company said yesterday.
India made the next highest number of
requests for information, 3,245 requests on
4,144 users. Facebook complied in 50 per
cent of cases. In the UK, authorities asked
for details on 2,337 users and Facebook com-
plied in 68 per cent of cases.
Facebook s first "global government
requests report" covers the first six months
of 2013, ending June 30. It comes as the
social network giant and its peers are coming
under intense scrutiny following revelations
about their co-operation with the National
Govts requested data on
38,000 Facebook users this year
...more than half of requests came from the US Security Agency s mass surveillance of US and foreign
"Transparency and trust are core values at Face-
book. We strive to embody them in all aspects of
our services, including our approach to responding
to government data requests," Colin Stretch, Facebook
general counsel, said in a blogpost. "We want to
make sure that the people who use our service under-
stand the nature and extent of the requests we receive
and the strict policies and processes we have in place
to handle them."
US authorities made 11,000 to 12,000 requests for
information on 20,000 to 21,000 individuals over
the six months. The company complied in 79 per
cent of cases. Facebook said it had to give a range
for the US figures in order to give an indication of
"all criminal and national security requests to the
maximum extent permitted by law."
The figures released by Facebook give no detail on
the types of requests received or what type of infor-
mation the company handed over. Facebook, along
with Google and others, is currently pressing Congress
to be allowed to give greater detail the number of
requests it receives from the US authorities. The NSA
has the authority to demand data about communi-
cations with non-US citizens without specific warrants
and gags companies from disclosing even the most
basic details of those cases.
"We continue to push the United States government
to allow more transparency regarding these requests,
including specific numbers and types of national
security-related requests. We will publish updated
information for the United States as soon as we
obtain legal authorisation to do so," said Facebook.
"As we have made clear in recent weeks, we have
stringent processes in place to handle all government
data requests. We believe this process protects the
data of the people who use our service, and requires
governments to meet a very high legal bar with each
individual request in order to receive any information
about any of our users," said Stretch.
We already know that nothing we do online is
sacred or secret, so it shouldn t come as a surprise
to learn that people with hard-to-access credit his-
tories may now have to start monitoring their social
While traditional lenders still prefer to look at pay-
ment history and use credit scores like FICO to make
lending decisions, a few small tech lenders are now
using social data and online behaviour to determine
credit risk, reported CNN Money:
"One such company, Lenddo, determines if you re
friends on Facebook with someone who was late
paying back a loan to Lenddo. If so, that s bad news
for you. It s even worse news if the delinquent friend
is someone you frequently interact with.
"It turns out humans are really good at knowing
who is trustworthy and reliable in their community,"
said Jeff Stewart, a co-founder and CEO of Lenddo.
"What s new is that we re now able to measure
through massive computing power."
Other companies around the world are relying on
dubious online data habits to determine loan risk
such as whether you fill the form out in all-caps or
no-caps---both no-no s in the eyes of German lender,
friends can affect
your credit score
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