Our country is among the world’s top ten in terms of the most applications from tech giants like Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple. Belgian courts are also asking for more and more data. But not every company conveys that information with the same frequency.
Since 2013, Belgian courts have used data from technology companies more than 15,000 times. This is evident from figures from Dutch cybersecurity firm Surfshark, where Standard about messages. Belgium is an active applicant, because worldwide only eight countries ask technology companies for this more often than Belgium. Around 70 per cent of global applications (at least some) are awarded, in Belgium almost 80 per cent.
This request concerns the user and the account. In the fight against crime, Belgian courts have requested information from technology companies from 28,774 accounts since 2013. It is surprising that Belgian courts rely more and more on this data. In 2013, there were still 2,189 accounts. In 2020, the last year in which all companies reported, that grew to 6,045 accounts. That’s almost a threefold increase in eight years.
Microsoft at least cooperate
About four out of ten requests go to Facebook (which also includes sister companies Whatsapp and Instagram). Facebook in particular is on the rise when it comes to apps. The number of inquiries to Facebook increased fivefold between 2013 and 2020. Google and Microsoft each accounted for about three in ten requests, less than one percent going to Apple. Apple is the most cooperating with such requests, Microsoft the least.
Surfshark collects data for 177 countries. Belgium is therefore in ninth place in terms of population. The US, Germany, UK, Singapore and France make up the top five.
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