Snapchat ranks the last among the least trustworthy companies when it comes to handling government data requests, claims a new report.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation has published its fourth annual “Who Has Your Back?” report, reviewing trustworthiness of 26 tech companies based on a variety of criteria.
Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Google, Twitter, Credo Mobile, Yahoo, Dropbox, and Sonic.net, took top honors, all received six out of six stars, the highest possible rating. Snapchat, in its first appearance in the report, is awarded the least – just one star, with AT&T and Amazon earning only two stars.
The 73-page analysis read “This is particularly troubling because Snapchat collects extremely sensitive user data, including potentially compromising photographs of users. Given the large number of users and non users whose photos end up on Snapchat, Snapchat should publicly commit to requiring a warrant before turning over the content of its users’ communications to law enforcement.”
A Snapchat spokesperson Mary Ritti in response to the evaluation, said that Snapchat “routinely requires a search warrant when law enforcement requests user data,” and added that “the very nature of Snapchat means that we often don’t have content to divulge.”
LinkedIn, Pinterest, SpiderOak, Tumblr, Wickr, and WordPress each were docked one star, while Lookout, Verizon, Wikimedia have earned 4 stars. Myspace, Adobe, Comcast, Foursquare have received just 3 stars.
The digital rights group noted that Apple has made a “remarkable progress in every category,” achieving all the 6 stars this year, a big leap from only one star it scored in the “Who Has Your Back?” reports in the last three years.
However, EFF cautioned that the report has a major shortcoming: “The categories we evaluate in this report represent objectively verifiable, public criteria and so cannot and do not evaluate secret surveillance.”