In report on data collection practices, WhatsApp and AT&T fail the test

The New York Times reports: In the post-Snowden era, tech companies are increasingly being rated not only for the quality of their gadgets and services, but also for how they handle government requests for customer data. In the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s annual report on data collection practices, tech companies like Yahoo, Apple and Adobe earned top marks, while WhatsApp and AT&T came in last.

The report this week from the E.F.F., a nonprofit that focuses on digital rights, evaluated companies based on factors including their transparency to consumers about data requests and data retention, as well as their public positions on so-called back doors that grant government agencies access to customer data.

Apple, Adobe, Yahoo, Dropbox and were among those that scored highly. AT&T and WhatsApp, which earned the lowest marks, with one out of five stars, did not immediately have comments. Verizon Communications, which earned two stars in the report (down from four stars last year when the report had slightly different criteria) declined to comment. [Continue reading…]

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