Security Tech News

Which Tech Companies Can You Trust With Your Data?

Dave Parrack 14-07-2017

Everyone reading this will have dealings with various tech companies. Often on a daily basis. From your ISP to your favorite online retailer Secrets Of The Amazon: 7 Useful Amazon Tips & Tricks Amazon is, without a doubt, one of the best and most popular places to shop online. It’s got there due to awesome features like Amazon Prime, Super Saver Shipping, the Wish List browser extension, the... Read More . From your social network of choice to the company that gets you from A to B What Is Uber and Why Is It Threatening Traditional Taxi Services? Uber has landed, and it's fundamentally changing inner-city transit. And some might say, not entirely for the better. Read More . 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) The Electronic Frontier Foundation - What It Is & Why It Is Important Electronic Frontier Foundation is an international non-profit group based in the US, committed to fighting for digital rights. Let's take a look at some of their campaigns and how they can help you. Read More 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 10 Easy Ways to Protect Your Data While Travelling Protecting your data while travelling around is very important. Want to know how to keep your personal and private data safe when you're on the road? These tips will help. Read More 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

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  1. likefunbutnot
    July 16, 2017 at 6:07 pm

    Important things should be self hosted. I'll trust Amazon with my photos and less important documents, but I also have Owncloud/rsync and colocated servers of my own for things I need to distribute.

    Google is useful for filtering my email and preventing people from sending me SMS messages but again, I run my own server (and have GPG) where my own email actually lives so I can route the stuff I need private to stay private. YouTube keeping videos online so they are private but link-able and Imgur keeping full quality photos in an easily accessible state also have value.

    I also use Crashplan Pro since they encrypt everything I store with them even if I didn't.

  2. Nick
    July 15, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    Thanks I'm in Apple ecosystem. They're privacy oriented polices are far better than Google.

    • fcd76218
      July 15, 2017 at 8:03 pm

      You need to give a drink warning before making statements like that.

      • Nick
        July 19, 2017 at 6:20 pm

        Absolutely not. I know what I'm talking though.

        • fcd76218
          July 19, 2017 at 6:46 pm

          Whatever you say but it is YOUR privacy that is being compromised, not mine.

          Your data is as private with Apple as it would be if you published it on the front page of a major newspaper. I'll grant you that they do keep it only to themselves and the thousands of their business partners.

          Saying that Apple's privacy policy is better than Google's is like saying that one thief is preferable to another because he will not steal as much. Your data is revenue to every company you come in contact with.

  3. ReadandShare
    July 14, 2017 at 10:56 pm

    AT&T is my internet provider. I assume they keep a record of all the sites visited by subscriber? Is there a way I can keep that info from AT&T?

    • C
      July 15, 2017 at 12:24 am

      VPN or Tor.

  4. Howard A Pearce
    July 14, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    " Some clearly feel they have a duty to protect your data at all costs, while others treat the idea with contempt."

    I treat the idea that people or companies have duties with contempt too - as there is no agreement involved - they are imposed upon you..
    The only duty people have is the one they were born with - the duty to respect the rights of others which comes hand-in-hand with their rights for themselves.

    The rest is done by obligations which people agree too - as in a contract.
    different companies no doubt have different rules they promise people when turning over data.

    Dave Parracks inability to distinguish the two concepts says alot about his beliefs.
    Will obligations be imposed so as to become duties ?
    Or will people be able to choose the obligations they prefer to enter into ?

    • fcd76218
      July 15, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      "The only duty people have is the one they were born with - the duty to respect the rights of others"
      Not so. 'Respect for the rights of others' is a relative concept determined and enforced by a particular society. It is NOT an absolute imperative.

  5. dragonmouth
    July 14, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    "Which Tech Companies Can You Trust With Your Data? "

    "What do you think of the EFF’s findings?"
    Not much.

    "promising not to sell out users"
    Big, Fat, Hairy Deal! Promises are for the yokels in the cheap seats.

    I would not trust Adobe, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest and Uber even with your data, Dave, let alone mine. :-)