It's Election Day in the US, and Facebook is reminding everyone to vote with a giant banner at the top of the news feed which asks people to share the vote with friends. By the looks of my news feed, it's working.
The company has also chosen today to release its third-ever transparency report – which provides info on how many data and content removal requests it receives, as well as national security requests initiated through FISA. By law, Facebook can't really say a lot about the latter – but as far as the former goes, things are up in a pretty big way.
During the first half of 2014, government requests for data and content removal were up 24 percent and 19 percent, respectively, from the latter half of 2013.
Facebook makes a point to say how they fight "overly broad requests":
"As we’ve said before, we scrutinize every government request we receive for legal sufficiency under our terms and the strict letter of the law, and push back hard when we find deficiencies or are served with overly broad requests."
The company also reminds people that it's been busy fighting an unprecedented data grab – a set of "sweeping search warrants" issued by a New York court.
Finally, Facebook talks legislation:
"As such, we support recent efforts in the U.S. Senate to pass the USA FREEDOM Act, and we’re hopeful that Congress will update the Electronic Communications Privacy Act to codify our requirement of a warrant to compel disclosure of the stored contents of an account. We will continue to work on our own and with partners, such as the Reform Government Surveillance coalition, to protect the information of the people who use our services."
You can check out the full report here. And remember – go vote. It could have an impact on whether or not Facebook is required to give up more and more of your data.
Image via Facebook