Apple receives praise from the EFF for its transparency regarding user data

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has today published its rankings of technology companies regarding how they handle user data. Apple this year has received praise from the EFF for how transparent it is when it comes to handling requests form government agencies and standing up for user rights and privacy.

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On the EFF’s ranking scale, Apple received five out of five stars, as did Dropbox. Google, however, received three stars out of five, while Facebook received four stars. For its ranking to increase, the EFF says that Google needs to be better about informing users about requests for their data and needs to provide more transparency into its data retention policies. Other companies that earned five stars are Adobe, CREDO, Sonic, Wickr, Wikimedia,, and Yahoo. AT&T earned just one out of five stars, while Verizon earned two.

Regarding Apple, the EFF had the following to say:

This is Apple’s fifth year in the report, and it has adopted every best practice we’ve identified as part of this report. We commend Apple for its strong stance regarding user rights, transparency, and privacy.

Last year, Apple also received five out of five stars, while for the three years before that, it received just one.

Apple and Tim Cook have been vocal about their support for user privacy and security. Earlier this year, Cook gave a speech regarding cybersecurity during an award reception. Apple launched a new security page on its website last year as well, which was accompanied by an open-letter from Cook regarding Apple’s policies. The Apple CEO also spoke about cybersecurity at the White House Summit earlier this year, as well as during a German interview.

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  1. rnc - 8 years ago

    Of course.

    But the study could be more in-depth. It doesn’t address of the data stored from users is encrypted or not, and if the companies use data mining on user’s document files.

    • standardpull - 8 years ago

      I agree. And more importantly, encrypted in a manner that only the user has the ability to decrypt. Many companies encrypt, but also can easily get their hands on the decryption keys. That can be like not encrypting at all.

    • Ilya Geller - 8 years ago

      Apple uses the same SQL. I doubt Apple can do anything at all for privacy.

      SQL structures data externally, through queries.

      For the past 70 years SQL (Structured Query Language, generic name for whatever IBM has done because all used the same ideology under different names) dominated search for electronic information. It’s external to data technology, which helps to distill patterns and doubtful statistics based on external queries.
      SQL technology emanates from External Relations theory of Analytic Philosophy: students of Moore, Russell and Wittgenstein established IBM and everybody else followed their path.

      However, there is Internal Relations theory, which is based on Bradley, Poincare and my ideas. In this theory patterns and statistics are found into structured data. I discovered and patented how to structure any data: Language has its own Internal parsing, indexing and statistics. For instance, there are two sentences:

      a) ‘Sam!’
      b) ‘A loud ringing of one of the bells was followed by the appearance of a smart chambermaid in the upper sleeping gallery, who, after tapping at one of the doors, and receiving a request from within, called over the balustrades -‘Sam!’.’

      Evidently, that the ‘Sam’ has different importance into both sentences, in regard to extra information in both. This distinction is reflected as the phrases, which contain ‘Sam’, weights: the first has 1, the second – 0.08; the greater weight signifies stronger emotional ‘acuteness’.
      First you need to parse obtaining phrases from clauses, restoring omitted words, for sentences and paragraphs.
      Next, you calculate Internal statistics, weights; where the weight refers to the frequency that a phrase occurs in relation to other phrases.
      After that data is indexed by common dictionary, like Webster, and annotated by subtexts.
      This is a small sample of the structured data:
      this – signify – : 333333
      both – are – once : 333333
      confusion – signify – : 333321
      speaking – done – once : 333112
      speaking – was – both : 333109
      place – is – in : 250000
      To see the validity of technology – pick up any sentence.

      Do you have a pencil? (Numbers on the right – the internal weights, for which Apple, Google, NSA and everybody spy on Internet.)

      My technology can distill all patterns, 100% of them, plus internal statistics – SQL can only extract those patterns that are obtained through queries and use external statistics, popularity.

      Apple hardly can provide any privacy at all, to searchers, if Apple has not switched from SQL to my technology.

  2. Sacha - 8 years ago

    Very interesting, I’m glad I use Apple products.

  3. irelandjnr - 8 years ago

    Perhaps I think Google should get one.

  4. Mhc Järndörr - 8 years ago

    If you believe this you’re retardedly naive. Do you think they would admit spying on you? Did you learn nothing from all the snowden and other leaks?

    Apple got five stars in a contest FACEBOOK got four in. And facebook is selling your data while being in full cooperation with NSA and the related. one star better than that means the try to hide it at least.

  5. rettun1 - 8 years ago

    A buddy of mine a few days needed to setup a new Apple ID cuz he forgot his old one and he needed to download an app (Fallout Shelter) but he refused to enter in his real name and information because he didn’t want Apple to have that info. Mind you, this kid has a gmail account with fully accurate info, so I tried to tell him that of the two companies, Google is definitely the one to use your data in ways you wouldn’t want. To this he said “well at least it is just with one company”….. Sure, just the worst one


Avatar for Chance Miller Chance Miller

Chance is an editor for the entire 9to5 network and covers the latest Apple news for 9to5Mac.

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