You entrust a wealth of data to your social media and web service providers. So when the government comes knocking, are those companies cognizant of your privacy or ready and willing to turn that information over?
Three years ago, the Electronic Frontier Foundation started compiling a list of companies that are fervent in the protection of their customers’ privacy. The third edition of that list was released this week.
The EFF’s report — entitled “Who Has Your Back?” — examines 18 companies’ terms of service, privacy policies, advocacy and courtroom track records. And it awards up to six stars for best practices in categories like “require a warrant for content,” “tell users about government data demands” and “publish transparency reports.”
According to this year’s report, more and more online companies are promising to give users notice about law enforcement requests for information — unless, of course, the company is prohibited in doing so by law or a court order.
So which companies received the best and worst marks? Two companies — Twitter and Sonic.net — received a full six stars, while Verizon and MySpace earned no stars.