WhatsApp fails annual privacy test, Dropbox and Apple score top marks

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WhatsApp has scored the lowest marks in the Electronic Freedom Foundation’s (EEF) yearly “Who’s Got Your Back?” report, which examines issues of privacy concerns and government requests for data.

The Facebook-owned messaging app was the only company in the study that received a miserable one-star rating…

WhatsApp: 1 star for privacy

The five criteria used by the San Francisco-based organisation to assess the various tech companies in the report are as follows:

  • Follows industry-accepted best practices
  • Tells users about government data demands
  • Discloses policies on data retention
  • Discloses government content removal requests
  • Pro-user public policy: opposes backdoors.

EFF Online Privacy Report - WhatsApp

The Facebook-owned messaging app is the only company or service in the study to receive a one-star rating. The online freedom and privacy group says that WhatsApp does not require a warrant before it provides content to law enforcement agencies and does not publish a transparency report, like so many other companies do.

WhatsApp also does not promise that users will receive advance notice about government data demands, and the report goes on to criticise the company as it does not publish any information on data retention policies or content removal requests.

The only area where WhatsApp gets some credit comes from Facebook’s public policy of opposing including backdoors that can be exploited by government agencies.

Adobe, Apple and Dropbox and Yahoo received five-star ratings in the report.

EFF Online Privacy Report

Here are a few more. Google received just 3 stars (as did Microsoft):

EFF Online Privacy Report

SOURCE: Electronic Freedom Foundation.

 

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