Hungarian authorities sought personal data on 230 users from Facebook in 2016

December 22, 2016

The amount of Facebook data requests placed by governments around the world grew by 27 percent this year, while the number of data requests from Hungary remained mostly unchanged in the same period, reports hvg.hu. Data requests were made concerning 59,229 total users in the first half of this year, compared to 46,710 in the first half of 2015. Hungary requested data on 230 users and 224 users, respectively.

The personal data of those 230 users was sought in 186 different requests by Hungarian authorities, of which the social networking site fully or partially complied with 87. This means that Facebook didn’t find sufficient cause to reveal data requested by the Hungarian government in 99 cases, or 53 percent of total requests.

Such data requests can typically reveal the IP address and physical location of Facebook users, and can contain the contents of messages sent and received by the user. Facebook’s annual transparency report showed that Hungarian authorities made 21 requests for Facebook to archive the data of a total of 23 users. Archiving data means that Facebook takes a digital snapshot of all details of a user’s profile, including the contents of messages, but does not release the data until it is officially requested by a court. Some Hungarian governmental agency also made one emergency data request concerning two users, but Facebook did not comply with that request.