New report on privacy could put you off using WhatsApp


A major new report into online privacy could make you think twice about using WhatsApp.

The report titled Who Has Your Back was carried out by the privacy group the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

Now in its seventh year, the report looked at five categories to analyse the policies and actions of 26 tech companies.

According to the report, nine companies earned full marks when it came to their approach to protecting user data. The companies praised by the report included Adobe, Dropbox, Lyft, Pinterest, Uber and WordPress.

Who Has Your Back 2017

Apple, Google and Microsoft narrowly missed out on a five star rating but were still ranked highly in the report.

Microsoft and Google missed out on the full five stars after dropping a star in the category “stands up to National Security Letter (NSL) gag orders”.

Airbnb, Snap Inc, Tumblr and Twitter were all awarded three stars.

However, Facebook owned WhatsApp was awarded a paltry two stars, which was one of the lowest marks in the whole report. Amazon was also only awarded two stars.

“We were disappointed that two technology companies fell short of other online services: Amazon and WhatsApp,” the report read.

“While both companies have adopted industry-accepted best practices of requiring a warrant for content, publishing law-enforcement guidelines, and publishing a transparency report, and while we applaud both companies for advocating for reforms to over-broad NSA surveillance, these two companies are not acting as leaders in other criteria that we examine.

“They don’t have the strong public policies related to notifying users of government data requests that we have come to expect from tech companies; they don’t publicly promise to request judicial review of NSLs; and they aren’t meeting our criterion about not selling out users.

“We urge both Amazon and WhatsApp to improve their policies in the coming year so they match the standards of other major online services,” the report added

In another report carried out in 2015 by the Electronic Frontiers Foundation, WhatsApp failed in almost every category, managing just one out of five stars.


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