The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation), a digital rights organization unveiled its fifth annual privacy report called ‘Who Has Your Back?’ report this week, ranking top tech companies on how well they do at “protecting your data from government requests.”
Nine tech companies received a perfect 5-star ranking: Adobe, Apple, Credo, Dropbox, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia, WordPress and Yahoo. On the other hand, AT&T and WhatsApp received the lowest ranking each complying only single EFF privacy criteria. While, Tech Giants like Google, Amazon, Snapchat and LinkedIn were somewhere in the middle, and almost all the companies opposed encryption back doors.
Nate Cardozo, EFF Staff Attorney said in a news release “Every day, our digital lives require us to trust the digital services we use more and more, and consumers deserve clear and reliable information about policies and procedures that protect them. It’s time for all companies to take their users’ privacy seriously and reach the new standards we’ve laid out in ‘Who Has Your Back.”
The ‘Who Has Your Back?’ report evaluated Tech Giants based on mainly five criteria:
1. Whether they follow best practices for data security
2. Whether they publicly oppose so-called backdoors which give the government access to data.
3. Whether they are open about their policies on holding on to user data
4. Whether they inform users when the government requests data
5. Whether they tell users when the government demands the removal of content
According to EFF, Apple received a perfect 5 star ranking because it has stronger user rights protection policies than other tech giants like Facebook or Google when it comes to protecting user data from government requests. The EFF also reported that WhatsApp has adopted none of the best practices they have identified for the user rights protection except for its public policy position opposing backdoors.