The Electronic Frontier Foundation has released its “Fifth Annual Report on Online Service Providers’ Privacy and Transparency Practices Regarding Government Access to User Data,” otherwise known as the “Who Has Your Back?” report. Apple gained the top rating of five stars for its practices in the area of user rights, transparency and privacy.
Companies are rated on five criteria:
- Industry-accepted best practices
- Tell users about government data requests
- Publicly disclose the company’s data retention policies
- Disclose the number of times governments seek the removal of user content or accounts and how often the company complies
- Pro-user public policies; opposing backdoors
Apple scored perfectly across the board, as did eight other companies including Adobe, Wikimedia, Dropbox and Yahoo!. Telecom giant AT&T scored a one-star result since it apparently follows best practices, and arch-rival Verizon gained only one more star for disclosing government content removal requests.
For this year’s report, the EFF used company opposition to government backdoors to private systems as a judging criteria. Apple was praised for its public statement, which reads:
In addition, Apple has never worked with any government agency from any country to create a “back door” in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed any government access to our servers. And we never will.