Can Facebook give my private messenger conversations to police for investigation

Tilak Marg Forum for Legal Questions Forums Criminal Law Can Facebook give my private messenger conversations to police for investigation

This topic contains 1 reply, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Dr. Ashok Dhamija Dr. Ashok Dhamija 6 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #4001


    Police is conducting an investigation against me. Someone told me that police has made a requisition to Facebook to give them my private messenger conversations for the purposes of investigation. Can Facebook give such conversations to police even though they are password protected? Will it not be a violation of my privacy?

  • #4070

    Yes, if your information contained on Facebook (such as your private messages) is required by police for the investigation purposes, Facebook may share such information to police if it is a valid request under law. This is as per the Data Policy / privacy policy of Facebook. For example, this is what is mentioned by Facebook in its Data Policy as to how does Facebook respond to legal requests or prevent harm:

    “We may access, preserve and share your information in response to a legal request (e.g. a search warrant, court order or subpoena) if we have a good faith belief that the law requires us to do so. This may include responding to legal requests from jurisdictions outside of the United States where we have a good faith belief that the response is required by law in that jurisdiction, affects users in that jurisdiction and is consistent with internationally recognised standards. We may also access, preserve and share information when we have a good faith belief that it is necessary to: detect, prevent and address fraud and other illegal activity; to protect ourselves, you and others, including as part of investigations; or to prevent death or imminent bodily harm. For example, we may provide information to third-party partners about the reliability of your account to prevent fraud and abuse on and off our Services. Information that we receive about you, including financial transaction data related to purchases made with Facebook, may be accessed, processed and retained for an extended period of time when it is the subject of a legal request or obligation, governmental investigation, or investigations concerning possible violations of our terms or policies, or otherwise to prevent harm. We also may retain information from accounts disabled for violations of our terms for at least a year to prevent repeat abuse or other violations of our terms.”

    Generally, these terms and conditions are part of the privacy policy to which you may be subject when you become a member of Facebook or continue to be a member thereof. Therefore, your private messages on Facebook may be provided by it to police if there is a valid requisition from police in exercise of its lawful powers in connection with an investigation.


    Dr. Ashok Dhamija is a New Delhi based Supreme Court Advocate and author of law books. Read more about him by clicking here. List of his Forum Replies. List of his other articles. List of his Quora Answers.

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