Facebook this morning released its first-ever report sharing the number requests it received from governments for user data from the first half of 2013. Without any commentary on what any of this means (although my colleague Jeff Roberts wrote a good post this morning providing a little more insight), here is a collection of charts that shows just how hungry the U.S. government is for user data from Facebook, Google, Twitter and Microsoft.
Also, I’m not too familiar with social media in other countries, but it’s possible foreign governments request a lot more data from services that are popular in their respective countries. Facebook, Google and Microsoft are pretty popular worldwide, though.
By total number of requests. These are the top 40 countries by total number of requests. The darker the hue, the higher percentage of requests granted; the United States made between 11,000 and 12,000 requests (I used the higher number) had some data produced 79 percent of the time. The interactive version is available here.
On a map, showing every country. The interactive version — without the cluttering numbers — is available here.
A scatterplot showing the relationship between total requests and number of users on which data was requested. Most governments, incuding the United States way up in the top-right corner, asked for information on somewhere between one and two users per request. (I used Statwing because it looks better for this type of graph, but an interactive Tableau version is available here.)
The same scatterplot, without the United States. Just because you can spot the outlier, Malaysia (in the bottom-left corner), which made only 7 requests but asked for data on 197 users or accounts. The interactive Tableau version is available here.
By total number of requests. Here is the latest Google data on government requests for user data, from second half of 2012. You’ll note, Facebook had had more requests during the first half of 2013 than Google had during the second half of 2012.
By total number of requests. This only includes countries with 10 or more requests for user data, from first half of 2013. In all other countries, Twitter only went as deep as to note “<10” requests.
By total number of requests. Surprisingly, the United States is only No. 2 when it comes to requesting user data from Microsoft — behind Turkey. The United Kingdom comes in a close third place. This chart is a little hard to read, but Turkey and the United States both made more than 11,000 requests. The interactive version is available here.
By total number of requests for Skype. Again, the United States is only the No. 2 requester of Skype data, this time closely behind the United Kingdom. This chart is a little hard to read, but the United Kingdom made more than 1,200 requests and the United States made more than 1,100 requests. The interactive version is available here.