The report examines the privacy policies, terms of service, public statements, and courtroom track records of major technology companies, including Internet service providers, email providers, social networking sites, and mobile services.
"The sunlight brought about by a year's worth of Snowden leaks appears to have prompted dozens of companies to improve their policies when it comes to giving user data to the government," said EFF Activism Director Rainey Reitman. "Our report charts objectively verifiable categories of how tech companies react when the government seeks user data, so users can make informed decisions about which companies they should trust with their information."
Last year, only two companies earned a full six stars, Sonic and Twitter. This year, Apple, CREDO Mobile, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo reached six gold stars as well.
Apple's ranking is notable since it only scored one out of six stars last year.
We saw two companies make enormous improvements in the last year: Apple and Yahoo.
In 2013, Apple earned only one star in our Who Has Your Back report. This year, Apple earns 6 out of 6 stars, making remarkable progress in every category. Similarly, Yahoo jumped to earning credit in all 6 categories this year. Yahoo deserves special recognition because it fought a many-year battle with the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, defending user privacy in a secret court battle that it was forbidden from discussing publicly until July of 2013, but it also made great strides in other areas.
Just a week ago, Apple published new Legal Process Guidelines for U.S. Law Enforcement. These guidelines are for use by law enforcement or other government entities in the U.S. when seeking information from Apple about users of Apple’s products and services, or from Apple devices. Check them out here.
Take a look at the chart below or hit the link for the full report.