UK authorities double volume of Twitter personal data requests

Twitter has reported a doubling in the volume of requests it receives from UK authorities for personal information relating to its users in its latest transparency report, part of a global trend.

Between January and July the micro-blogging service recorded 299 such requests from government agencies and the police, up from just 116 over the past six months. Of these Twitter handed over information in 52 per cent of cases.

In addition Twitter said it had received nine content removal requests in the UK relating to matters such as defamatory content and prohibited information – all of which were refused.

Assistant chief constable Richard Berry from the National Police Chiefs' Council defended the growing use of such requests, saying: “Where the police are made aware of a case of any one of a broad range of offences capable of being perpetrated via Twitter, such as harassment, incitement to violence, terrorism or hate for example, and the alleged perpetrator is believed to be a UK citizen, police in the UK may make an application to Twitter for information about that individual.”

The UK numbers fall into a global trend with requests for information increasing by 52 per cent worldwide, the largest such increase between reports ever to be recorded by the social network.

Globally this saw the US lead the field with 2,436 requests, followed by Japan with 425 and Turkey with 412. The UK’s 299 requests put it in fourth place.

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