It is well known that all our virtual social interactions are managed by software companies that manipulate all the personal data and share it with advertisers or other entities of interest, for the right price, of course. As this is if not abusive, very close to an abuse, new regulation institutions appeared. The Digital rights organization the Electronic Frontier Foundations ( EFF) offers an annual report called “Who’s got your back”, where it assesses providers’ transparency and privacy practices when it comes to government requests to access user data.
It seems that lately internet players proved to be more transparent with users in regards to data requests. The right to privacy was oftentimes forgotten by companies that won giant amounts of money from selling users’ data.
Over the past four years, tech giants started considering the levels of risk personal data exposure poses. At the same time, consumers too became more aware of the importance of their personal data.
The report awards companies up to a maximum of five stars for performance in “industry accepted best practices”, making users aware of the government data demands, namely disclosing policies on data retention. It doesn’t grade what dubs a “pro-user” public policy.
This report can be very revealing but however, all the entities manipulate and monetize personal data for advertising and sales purposes. This piece of document only grades those who do it with a little more decency.
On the good list we have Apple and Adobe, along with CREDO, Dropbox, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia, WordPress.com and Yahoo.
These nine companies performed best at the assessment and are commended for the full complement of pro-privacy and transparency positions. Also, the named companies took a public position in defense of encryption.
Encryption is something that Facebook also started doing for a while now. It is indeed a good sign that industries take into account a little more user protection.
The companies that performed poorly at the reports are WhatsApp and At&T that got just one good mark from a total of 5. WhatsApp is rated separately from parent Facebook.
Apple is known to have a privacy statement, recently strengthened by CEO Tim Cook at the latest Apple conference in San Francisco. This is however mostly part of their positioning on the markets, as Apple along with all the other social networks win giant amounts of money from manipulating personal data. This report is set to make all of us more aware of the info we share and maybe start reacting against that, as it is our natural right to have and hold on to our privacy.
Image Source: nohatespeechmovement.org