Everyone reading this will have dealings with various tech companies. Often on a daily basis. From your ISP to your favorite online retailer. From your social network of choice to the company that gets you from A to B. These companies are often ingrained in our everyday lives.
Few of us consider whether we should trust these companies with our data. Especially when governments around the world come knocking. So which companies have our backs and which would sell us out at the first sign of trouble? The Electronic Frontier Foundation has the answer…
Who Has Your Back?
Every year (since 2011) the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has published a report looking at how companies protect their users when the U.S. government requests data. The idea being to build a picture of how different companies have different standards when it comes to user data.
For the 2017 report the EFF has scored tech companies on five different points: following industry-wide best practices, informing users when the government requests data, promising not to sell out users, standing up to NSL gag orders, and standing up to surveillance by the NSA.
Nine companies achieved perfect scores, with Adobe, Credo Mobile, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Sonic, Uber, Wickr, and WordPress getting 5-star ratings. At the other end of the scale, four companies failed miserably, with AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile, and Verizon all getting 1-star ratings. We’re sure it’s pure coincidence that these are all ISPs, but they are all ISPs.
There’s a lot more included in the “Who Has Your Back? 2017: Protecting Your Data From Government Requests” report, including individual reports on each company assessed. We highly recommend you read it, absorb it, and use the information to make better choices as a consumer.
Protecting Your User Data
This provides an interesting insight into the way different tech companies treat their users. Some clearly feel they have a duty to protect your data at all costs, while others treat the idea with contempt. As the users in question we have a duty to vote with our feet, and give our business to those companies who have our backs. Otherwise those companies involved won’t change.
What do you think of the EFF’s findings? Are you surprised by any of the results? If so, which companies did better/worse than you expected? Will the results make you consider switching companies? Or are you just not that bothered? Please let us know in the comments below!
Image Credit: Josh Hallett via Flickr