The NSA scandal may not have changed things up when it comes to how much the world is being spied on, but at the very least tech companies have responded well, offering users more protection.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has issued its “Who Has Your Back” report, which tells you which popular tech companies actually help protect your privacy.
This year, it looks at 26 companies, up from last year’s 18. The report covers several categories in which companies fight for your privacy. For instance, it tells you which ones require a warrant to provide content, and which ones tell users about government data requests.
The companies that publish transparency reports are also marked in the report, while those that publish law enforcement guidelines also get a star. Companies that fight for users’ privacy rights in court and those who stand up for users’ privacy rights in Congress are also rewarded in the report.
Last year, there were only two companies (Twitter and Sonic.net) that got the maximum six stars, but following the NSA reports that started a year ago, the number has risen to nine – Apple, Credo, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Sonic.net, Twitter and Yahoo.
This means that all these companies do their best to protect users when it comes to online privacy and this has been obvious over the past year with all the efforts they’ve done to improve their transparency reports and the work they’ve put in to protect users, like pressure the US government to allow companies to disclose how many National Security Letters they receive or how many FISA requests.
There are also a few entities that managed to get five stars from the EFF. Internet Archive is one and it simply needs to publish law enforcement guidelines to get the full six stars. LinkedIn, Pinterest, Spideroak, Tumblr, Wickr and Wordpress all missed out on being the top privacy protectors because they don’t really go to court to fight for users’ privacy rights.
Lookout, Verizon, and Wikimedia got four stars each, while Adobe, Comcast, Foursquare and Myspace all got three stars.
Amazon and AT&T each managed to get two stars; Amazon for requiring warrants to disclose user data and for fighting for users in court, and AT&T for publishing transparency reports and law enforcement guidelines.
Disappointingly, Snapchat is the only company to get a single star which was for publishing law enforcement guidelines.