As the Electronic Frontier Foundation acknowledges in its latest "Who Has Your Back?" report on government data requests, a number of companies have gotten better when dealing with those requests in recent years, with many providing annual reports on data they've turned over and notifying users when their data is requested. Not surprisingly, however, they're still finding a fair bit that concerns them, and say that users now also expect more from companies collecting their data in light of things like the Snowden revelations.
On the positive front, EFF wound up giving nine companies a pass in the five categories related to data collection it ranked them in, including Adobe, Apple and Yahoo. Those companies, it says, "show that it is practical for major technology companies to adopt best practices around transparency and stand by their users when the government comes knocking."
Meanwhile, three companies fell far short of the others, including both AT&T and Verizion, as well as the Facebook-owned WhatsApp. According to EFF, having two big telecoms at the bottom doesn't come as a much surprise, noting that it continues "a trend we identified in prior reports where many large telecom providers fail to keep pace with the rest of the tech sector."
WhatApp, for its part, was the only company EFF looked at that failed to make the grade in the category that judged whether they follow industry-accepted best practices. Indeed, the nonprofit organization said that "WhatsApp earned credit for its parent company Facebook's public policy position opposing backdoors and nothing else."
Despite those falling short, though, the organization says that even "in the months since we first told the companies what this year's criteria would be, we've seen significant improvement in company practices," adding, "and we hope - and expect - that over the next year, we'll see even more. "
You can find the full report and a chart breaking down the results in each category on the EFF's site.