Reddit Responds Impressively to Data Enquiries from U.S. Govt.
Reddit fulfills its promise of revealing a transparency report on its data tracking.
According to the report, the company received a sum of 55 applications from the government, for information about the users. Numerically, 58% of the requested information was disclosed by Reddit.
The forked over information included: account registrations data, log data, and the content which had been uploaded by the users. The report reveals that 64% data was compiled for U.S state and federal government.
The government approached Reddit for serious data accession in the cases of Search Warrants and Subpoenas. Reddit, complying the enquiries, disclosed users information like IP addresses, the data that was used in creation of account and email addresses.
Reddit has made it clear that, although it keeps an IP address info for 90 days, cases of warrant can be exceptions. In cases of Warrant, it may dig into too private data like messages, posts and comments; the data which has been deleted can also be recovered in such special cases.
Along with the government requests for users’ data generation, elaborated above, Reddit also approved requests for removal of the content, mostly for copyright violations. As per outline in its transparency report, Reddit removed user content for 68 requests out of the total 218.
Reports suggest that Reddit has shown higher compliance rate as compared to other companies including Facebook and Twitter. However, even then, the total number of requests it received are very few as compared to thousands of requests, that were served to Google and Twitter.
For those who are not familiar with Reddit: it is an online community with users’ created sub-communities called subreddit. Each community receives and publishes different content like stories, opinions and discussions. The users vote and comment on the submitted content. Users’ feedback is used to rank the content and so on.
Users are given a huge share in content generation and maintenance which gives Reddit huge audience; 4.9 billion people visited its page in 2013. Which can make it a significant subject for government agencies to get the data vouchsafed.
Inasmuch, Reddit has not been able to attract government for enquiry tasks, still its act of publishing a transparency report must be appreciated. If it maintains its compliance rate, it may turn into a favorite option for government for data enquiries.
Abubaker Zahoor writes on diverse topics with special interest in innovations, tech-ethics, and inter-and intra- organizational business relationships.