When the Government Comes Knocking …

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Lately, digital rights activist group Electronic Frontier Foundation has prepared a report that studies the protection of users’ privacy given by IT corporations. It looked at twelve companies and found out whether they inform their customers about government requests for user data and whether they defend users' privacy in courts and  in Congress. Among the companies on the report  we can find Apple, Amazon, AT&T, MySpace, Skype, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others.

Apple, MySpace and Skype are amongst the companies with the lowest degree of customers’ private data protection. They are not members of Digital Due Process, an organization fighting for protecting internet privacy. And moreover there are fuzzy claims in their user agreements that allow them to disclose private information to the government.

According to the report, Apple's customers are the least protected. Their privacy statement runs as follows: "We may also disclose information about you if we determine that for purposes of national security, law enforcement, or other issues of public importance, disclosure is necessary or appropriate." They do not enumerate specific cases when users’ private data can become available, and that gives them much freedom to act.

Twitter and Google are the best in protecting customers’ privacy. Twitter defended its users’ privacy rights in court and Google created a site that contains information about data requests from the government.


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