By Alexandra Burlacu | May 02, 2013 09:29 AM EDT
User privacy is an increasingly great concern, but not all companies have users' backs: Twitter ranks top, Google ranks second, while Apple scores even worse than Facebook.
Digital rights advocacy group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EEF) just released its annual report, showing which companies score best in protecting their users from the government. The report focuses on how willing and effective companies are in protecting users' private information.
The EEF annual report is called "Who has your back," and this year it specifically focuses on how companies handle government demands for access to private data, and shows that Google ranks second. Twitter is the best at protecting user data, while Verizon, Apple and others are not so great.
The EEF report takes six categories into account: whether the company requires a warrant for content, whether it tells users about government data requests, whether it publishes transparency reports, whether it publishes law enforcement guidelines, if the company is willing to fight for users' privacy rights in courts and whether it fights for users' privacy rights in Congress.
Based on these criteria, only Twitter and Sonic.net get top scores: six out of six stars. Dropbox and LinkedIn get a star in each of the categories except the one for fighting for users' rights in courts. Google, meanwhile, gets a five out of six rating for missing the mark on telling its users about government requests for access to data.
Microsoft and Foursquare each get four stars, Facebook and Tumblr get three stars, while Yahoo!, Apple and AT&T get only one star. Apple and AT&T are only willing to fight for users' rights in Congress, while Yahoo is willing to fight in courts.
Two companies get a grand total of zero in protecting their users' privacy: MySpace (yes, it still exists) and Verizon, AT&T's biggest rival for mobile supremacy in the U.S. This is not the first time the two companies got this ranking, but it seems neither of them is willing to take steps to improve their practices and protect users' data.
We live in the age of the Internet, and users share personal data online all the time. EEF aims to show which companies have users' backs in terms of privacy and which don't. Check out the full report (link in third paragraph) to see information about all 18 companies evaluated.
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