The UK government requested data on almost 4,500 Facebook accounts in the first half of 2015, according to Facebook's latest government transparency report.
The total figure of 4,489 UK accounts targeted for information between January and June was a notable increase on the 2,619 requests made in the same period in 2014 and the 2,890 requests made in the second half of 2014.
The increase in accounts targeted led to an overall increase in the number of submissions for information made to Facebook, which rose to 3,384 for the first half of 2015, compared with 2,366 in the second half of 2014.
Facebook complied with 78 percent of requests from UK authorities, a slight increase on the 75 percent it complied with during the second half of 2014.
Additionally, eight pieces of content were removed from the site at the requests of the Gambling Regulatory Commission.
The increase in data requests from the UK government was indicative of a wider global trend, with the total requests for data increasing from 35,051 in the second half of 2014 to 41,214 in the first half of 2015, a rise of 18 percent.
The UK was third in the charts for account information requests, behind the US and India, and ahead of France and Germany.
In the US, 17,577 submissions for data from the authorities were made, relating to a total of 26,579 accounts. Facebook turned over some data 80 percent of the time.
India made 5,115 requests relating to 6,268 accounts, while France (2,520 requests) and Germany (2,344 requests) were just behind the UK.
While governments are becoming more and more data hungry, Facebook’s deputy general counsel, Chris Sonderby, said the company would continue to try and protect user data wherever possible.
"We scrutinise each request we receive for legal sufficiency, whether from an authority in the US, Europe, or elsewhere. If a request appears to be deficient or overly broad, we push back hard and will fight in court, if necessary," he said.
"We’ll also keep working with partners in industry and civil society to push governments around the world to reform surveillance in a way that protects their citizens’ safety and security while respecting their rights and freedoms."
While the rise in request for data on over 41,000 Facebook accounts could be seen as alarming, it stills represents a tiny fraction of the 1.5 billion people who use Facebook each month, as revealed in the firm's latest earnings report.
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