The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) just released their annual “Who Has Your Back” report. It summarizes how major online companies respond to government requests for user data. As the shift toward privacy continues the EFF is tightening it’s criteria. The report states that, “We think it’s time to expect more from Silicon Valley. We designed this report to take the basic principles of Who Has Your Back up a notch and see which companies were still leading the pack.” and as you can see there are some big names on both sides of the table.
There are 24 companies listed in total. I suggest you visit the EFF site for a full picture of how each company performed in the latest “Who Has Your Back” report. We would like to commend those who received five stars. It doesn’t mean they are perfect by any means but it shows a strong commitment to user privacy. Here’s a list of the companies listed in the 2015 report sorted by rating:
- 5 Star – Adobe, Apple, Credo Mobile, Dropbox, Sonic.net, Wikimedia, WordPress.com, and Yahoo
- 4 Star – Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Reddit, Twitter, Wickr
- 3 Star – Amazon, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Slack, Snapchat, Tumblr
- 2 Star – Verizon
- 1 Star – AT&T, WhatsApp
The criteria used to rate the companies in the reported includes:
- Follow industry accepted best practices
- Tells users about government data demands
- Disclose policies on data protection
- Disclose government content removal requests
- Pro-user public policy: opposes backdoors
As you can see some of the largest telecom companies including AT&T and Verizon failed the report. They are not taking the steps necessary to protect users privacy. This is certainly something to consider when making your purchase decisions. On the other hand, cheers to the Silicon Valley companies who are making strides toward privacy and transparency. We look forward to seeing how each company fares in next year’s report.