The EFF has released its yearly report classifying companies on how they protect your private information from government access. WhatsApp has only received one star out of 5. This means WhatsApp has done almost nothing to protect user private data from government hands.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation is a international NGO based in the U.S. focused on digital rights.
The EFF classifies companies and awards them stars depending certain factors. Each star is awarded upon successful completion of a certain focus point.
One star is given for complying with industry practices, a second for informing users about government demands regarding their private information, a third for company publishing of data retention policy a fourth for disclosing government censorship and content removal requests and a fifth for opposing backdoor government agency access requests.
Of the five criteria WhatsApp has not complied with a single one. This makes it one if not the most government friendly company.
WhatsApp has not complied in any way with industry privacy standard and has shown no interest in protecting its users private data from abusive search or control.
The bad news is that WhatsApp is not the only company that showed no concern towards government abusive data collection.
AT&T and Verizon are doing slightly better than What’s up on the list, but not by much. However in the case of telecommunication companies this is at least a little more understandable.
Apple was one of the companies with the best privacy standard and user protection program along with others like Adobe, Yahoo, Wikimedia, Sonic, CREDO, Dropbox, Wickr and WordPress.
These 9 companies were the only one to get five out of five stars in the EFF’s “Who’s got your back” Ranking.
however the EFF warns that privacy standards should go higher since government data collection does not seem to decrease.
While EFF is only recomending that companies increase their user’s data protection programs including from governments, millions of users are down wright screaming for this to happen.
In the last 5 years hundreds of protest in Europe the U.S. and Asia have been launched, with the support of thousands of NGO’s .
The governments image has not been helped much by events regarding Wikileaks or how the entire Snowden incident was handled by the U.S. authorities.
Image Source: thehindu.com