Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
UCS Invicta: Integrated Flash
Deploy flash memory technology to
deliver peak workload performance.

Find out more>>
World Wide Web
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
EFF
EFF's List of Top Privacy Prize Winners Grows

By Barry Levine
May 16, 2014 10:47AM

    Bookmark and Share
"The sunlight brought about by a year's worth of [Edward] Snowden leaks appears to have prompted dozens of companies to improve their policies when it comes to giving user data to the government," said the EFF's Rainey Reitman. She said the EFF's privacy report can help users make decisions "about which companies they should trust."
 



The Electronic Frontier Foundation is out with gold stars for the companies that it says "fight the hardest" to protect user data from government requests. This is the fourth year it has made the awards, and the number of companies that receive the full six gold stars has increased from two to nine.

The two that got the top designation last year were California Internet service provider Sonic and Twitter. Added to that list this year are Apple, Credo Mobile, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. EFF said that five more -- LinkedIn, Pinterest, SpiderOak, Tumblr, Wickr and WordPress -- "only missed getting all six stars because they did not have to bring public court battles on behalf of their users."

Other evaluated companies included Adobe, Amazon, AT&T, Comcast, Facebook, Foursquare, Internet Archive, Lookout, Microsoft, MySpace and Pinterest.

The Six Categories

The six categories, for which a gold star is awarded or not, are: requires a warrant before providing content; tells users about government data requests; publishes transparency reports; publishes law enforcement guidelines; fights for users' privacy rights in court; and fights for users' privacy right in Congress.

But many of the companies surveyed by EFF have been improving their practices relating to protecting user privacy. The foundation said most of the companies surveyed have made a formal commitment to tell users when the government went looking for their data, which provides information that users can employ to fight the requests by themselves. Also, 20 companies of the ones surveyed now publish transparency reports that detail government requests for user data, compared with only seven that did so last year.

One pioneer is Twitter, which battled back in 2010 for the right to tell users when the government sought information during the WikiLeaks investigation. But Snapchat, the popular messaging app, got only one star because it does not require a warrant if the government comes looking for the content of certain users' communications. AT&T and Comcast similarly do not require a warrant. A warrant, EFF noted, means that a judge at least has been convinced about probable cause for the government to seek the data.

'Commerce Operates on Trust'

EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman said in a statement that "the sunlight brought about by a year's worth of [Edward] Snowden leaks appears to have prompted dozens of companies to improve their policies when it comes to giving user data to the government." She added that the foundation's report "charts objectively verifiable categories of how tech companies react when the government seeks user data," which can help users make informed decisions "about which companies they should trust with their information."

Roger Kay, an analyst with industry research firm Endpoint Technologies Associates, said that "everything in commerce operates on trust."

In the old days, he told us, "when you went to the market to get some fish, you could at least see the fish." But now, he said, "everything has gone remote," so certification from an independent third party could matter to users in the marketplace.

He noted that EFF "has been sort of anti-establishment in the past," but that this new industry certification is helping the group "to become more establishment."
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

TheFreeMarketIsDead:

Posted: 2014-05-16 @ 6:03pm PT
I can't believe the EFF is so short sighted and does not see that these companies protect their own interests, not their user's privacy. As an honest taxpaying citizen I do not fear the government knowing about me. I am worried about adverse commercial interests (read: those who buy ads with the Googles and Facebooks that the EFF is praising) knowing too much about my needs, my wants, my means, and my limits. The transparent consumer is delivered to the commercial interests who can then "taylor" product and service pricing to maximize their profits. Nightmare!





 World Wide Web
1.   Facebook To Force Use of Messenger
2.   OkCupid Experiments with Daters
3.   Zillow Buys Trulia for $3.5 Billion
4.   Competition Spurs Ultra-Fast Internet
5.   Google Buys Streaming Site Twitch


advertisement
Radical.FM's Freemium Biz Model
Online radio startup asks for donations.
Average Rating:
Facebook Social Experiment Irks Us
Secretive test was legal, but ethical?
Average Rating:
OkCupid Experiments with Daters
Unethical without user consent?
Average Rating:
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Canadian Government Charges China With Cyberattack
The government of Canada is not happy with China. Canadian officials have accused "a highly sophisticated Chinese state-sponsored actor" of launching a cyberattack on its National Research Council.
 
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Apple Updates MacBook Pros, Cuts Prices Up to $100
The popular MacBook Pro laptop line just got an update and a price cut of as much as $100. The MacBook Pro with Retina display now includes faster processors and double the memory.
 
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Android 'Fake ID' Puts Millions of Users at Risk
Having this fake ID is nothing to brag about, even if you are a minor. The “Fake ID” Android flaw drops malware into smartphone apps. It can steal credit card data and even take over your device.
 
FTC Wants Fix for 'Perfect Scam' of Mobile Cramming
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new guidelines to curb “mobile cramming,” a troublesome practice that adds unauthorized third-party charges to mobile phone bills.
 
Facebook: You Will Use Messenger, and You Will Like It
Starting this week, Facebook users with Android and iOS phones will be forced to use the separate Messenger app to send Facebook messages. Pending messages will still be visible in the main app.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.