Ever since a data technician named Edward Snowden blew the whistle on PRISM, the government’s wide-reaching NSA surveillance program, Americans have grown increasingly nervous over the security of their personal information.
With the rise of cloud computing and data storage, it helps to know which companies are fighting for your privacy when the government asks them to turn over your information. Let’s examine which organizations do the best job at protecting your personal identity from scammers or secret surveillance.
How the Consumer Protection Rankings Work
The Electronic Frontier Foundation created a helpful infographic detailing the various measures companies are taking to protect your personal information. Based on six criteria, we’ve gone ahead and arranged the results into three groups.
This is based on whether or not companies require a warrant, whether they let users know about data requests, publish transparency reports, publish law enforcement guidelines, fight for you in court, and fight for you in Congress.
So how do companies like Google, Apple, Microsoft and Facebook measure up to protecting your privacy?
The Best Companies Protecting Your Privacy (5-6 Points)
Twitter leads the pack when it comes to making sure that the government doesn’t have easy access to your information. They basically hit all six marks when it comes to protecting your data from unwarranted requests and other privacy violations.
DropBox and Google are right behind Twitter, but both of them lose a point according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation. DropBox doesn’t fight for your rights in courts, and Google doesn’t seem interested in telling users when the government asks their information. LinkedIn doesn’t really do that, either.
These four companies, however, are definitely leading the charge when it comes to protecting users’ information.
The Not-So-Best (4-3 Points)
Foursquare is holding the middle with a solid four points. They don’t publish transparency reports, and neither does WordPress.
Unlike Foursquare and WordPress, however, Microsoft won’t tell its users about data requests that come from the government, but they will fight for its users’ rights in court.
With a meager three points, Facebook gets a nod for requiring warrants before it’ll hand over any personal info, for publishing law enforcement guidelines, and for fighting in court on behalf of its users’ rights. All good things.
Tumblr, meanwhile, hits the same three notes. Myspace is doing an even worse job, although this isn’t really putting anybody’s personal information at risk.
…and The Worst (Less Than 3 Points)
Finally, the Electronic Freedom Foundation asserts that companies like Amazon, Apple, AT&T, Verizon, and Yahoo manage to just seem like they’re straight-up giving your information away.
Not a single one of those companies requires a warrant before it’ll give law enforcement user information.
They all say that they fight for user’s rights in court, but beyond that, it doesn’t seem that they’re too outraged when the government says it wants to know what their users are doing.
What Do You Think?
Does all this impact the way you’ll treat your information these days? We have a tendency to trust large companies with our personal data, but the PRISM scandal has made it clear that we can’t necessarily companies we pay to keep our information private for us.
What do you think? Let us know in the comments.