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March 18, 2016

LinkedIn says Government Requests for Data Higher in 2015

Photo by Ben Scholzen.

LinkedIn reported today that government requests for its members’ private information has increased significantly within the last six months.

The social media website published its bi-yearly transparency report today, which provides its members with information about law enforcement requests it receives for member data as well as its responses to those requests.

The portion of our member base impacted by law enforcement requests has been relatively constant,” said Sara Harrington in a LinkedIn statement. “Overall, this was the highest number of requests for member data LinkedIn has received during a six month window, with the greatest increase coming from requests originating in the United States.”

LinkedIn received 134 requests in the second half of 2015, up from 112 requests in the first half and 100 requests in the second half of 2014. Out of all the requests in late 2015, 127 of those were made by the US, and in turn, LinkedIn handed over 72 per cent of the requested information.

According to the report, most requests for data were related to court orders, subpoenas and search warrants.

The rift between the US government and online companies has grown over the past few months since its battle with Apple began. The government is pushing for Apple to provide information from the iPhone of one of the attackers from the San Bernardino, California, shooting.

LinkedIn has made it clear that it remains an ally with Apple, stating again today that it opposes “all forced backdoor access” to its members’ data and will continue to protect user privacy as best it can, as well as remain true to its promise of transparency and honesty toward its users.

LinkedIn complies with properly served legal requests for member information from law enforcement agencies. When we do so, we scrutinize each and every request we receive, notify each affected member whenever the law permits, and work to ensure that requests for our members’ information are not overly broad and are consistent with internationally recognized human rights laws and standards,” said Harrington in a statement. “We also continue to engage in public policy advocacy to protect our members’ data.”


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Megan Abraham is a staff writer for SiteProNews.

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