EFF Criticises Apple, Amazon And Yahoo For Data Privacy Records

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Whilst Twitter is commended for its efforts to keep government hands away from user data, others don’t come out looking as good

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has given Twitter a top six-star rating for its work on transparency and keeping user data away from government snoops, whilst Apple and Yahoo received just one star each.

The EFF looked at six different factors to determine how well companies are protecting personal information. They covered whether companies required a warrant for access to content, and if they told users about government data requests, published transparency reports, produced law enforcement guidelines, fought for users’ privacy rights in court and in US Congress too.

EFF ranks privacy best and worst

Twitter was awarded a star in every area, whereas Apple received one for battling for user privacy in Congress. Yahoo received one for doing the same in courts.

Verizon and Myspace were the only two firms on the list to receive no stars at all. Microsoft was praised for releasing its first transparency report, bringing it in line with the likes of Google and Twitter.

EFF Rankings

Even though there was a general improvement in businesses’ willingness to protect user data from the state, there was much to improve on within certain companies.

“Amazon holds huge quantities of information as part of its cloud computing services and retail operations, yet does not promise to inform users when their data is sought by the government, produce annual transparency reports, or publish a law enforcement guide,” the EFF report read.

“Facebook has yet to publish a transparency report. Yahoo! has a public record of standing up for user privacy in courts, but it hasn’t earned recognition in any of our other categories. Apple and AT&T are members of the Digital Due Process coalition, but don’t observe any of the other best practices we’re measuring.

“We remain disappointed by the overall poor showing of ISPs.”

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