Crime: Belgian justice is demanding more and more data from tech giants

In eight years, Belgian justice has requested almost three times more data from tech giants, according to figures from the Dutch cybersecurity company Surfshark.

In the fight against crime, Belgian courts have requested information on 28,774 accounts from Meta (ex-Facebook), Google, Microsoft and Apple since 2013. In four out of five cases, US tech giants complied, at least partially, with the request, writes De Standaard based on figures from Dutch cybersecurity firm Surfshark.

These requests are coming more and more frequently. In 2013, only 2,189 accounts were concerned. In 2020, the last year for which all companies reported, this figure rose to 6,045, or almost a tripling in eight years.

Meta at the top of requests

About four out of ten requests were sent to Meta and its Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram services. The number of requests made to Meta has increased fivefold between 2013 and 2020. Google and Microsoft each account for three out of ten requests, Apple less than one percent.

Surfshark has collected data for 177 countries. Belgium ranks ninth in terms of the number of requests. The United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Singapore and France form the top 5.

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