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Digital rights group the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has released its annual “Who has your back?” report in which it ranks popular online service providers based on how hard they fight to protect customer data from government requests for user data.
The fifth annual report evaluates 24 companies, each of which can earn up to five stars based on categories like whether or not they disclose policies on data retention or if they oppose backdoors.
The EFF found that nine companies – Adobe, Apple, CREDO, Dropbox, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia, Wordpress.com and Yahoo – earned stars in every category that applies to them.
The biggest losers were AT&T and WhatsApp, earning just one star apiece. AT&T’s only star was a result of following industry-accepted best practices, a new category which now includes all of the main principles from prior reports rolled into one. WhatsApp’s was awarded its single star for opposing backdoors.
EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman said we entrust countless intimate details about our personal life to digital service providers. It’s often corporate policies, not legal safeguards, that are our best defense against government intrusion, she added, praising the nine aforementioned companies for stepping up and meeting their ambitious new standards.
Verizon finished with just two stars while Amazon, Comcast, Google, Microsoft, Tumblr and SnapChat each garnered three stars.