Though Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) has some of the world’s most loyal customers, it’s safe to say the company won’t return the favor. Apple ranked among the worst in a report titled, “Who Has Your Back?” just released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a watchdog group that studies consumer privacy issues.
Out of the six possible ways Apple could protect its customers from law enforcement intrusions into information, the company failed on five. The results were disturbing: Apple won’t require a warrant for investigators to access your content; won’t tell you when the government tries to access information; doesn’t publish its transparency policy; doesn’t publish the guidelines dictated by law enforcement; and, most damningly, won’t show up in court to defend a user’s rights. The study noted that Apple would show up on Capitol Hill to testify before Congress regarding user rights.
In effect, the study reveals that Apple is happy to look good on TV when fighting for users’ rights, but is quick to anonymously sell out its customer base when authorities believe they have a right to access your personal content. In all fairness, Apple did have plenty of company in the category of least protection offered to its customers…
Verizon (NYSE:VZ) scored a 0-6 in the study, sweeping the table in protection not offered. AT&T (NYSE:T) joined Apple by putting one star on the board, while Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) posted two stars. There weren’t many positives to take away from the study, considering the reach of the companies in question. If it’s not your iPhone memory (Apple) or your latest shopping spree (Amazon), it might be the call you made (on AT&T’s network) or the email you sent (via Verizon).
Each of these methods of communication and storage is fair game as far as the companies are concerned. Anyone looking for a bright spot could look to Twitter and Dropbox. While you might question how much of your information could be compromised in 140 characters or less, you’ll feel a robust level of protection when compared to any of your Apple products.