Digital rights advocate group Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has issued its annual privacy report covering the major tech companies policies toward government data requests. The group awarded Apple a perfect six-stars rating after only awarding one star to the company for the past three years.
AppleInsider reports that the “Who Has Your Back” report published on Thursday, saw Apple earning credit in all six categories measured by EFF, including requiring warrants for content; informing users about data requests; publishing transparency reports; publishing law enforcement guidelines; fighting for user rights in courts; and fighting for user rights in Congress.
“Apple’s rating is particularly striking because it had lagged behind industry competitors in prior years, earning just one star in 2011, 2012, and 2013,” the EFF writes. “Apple shows remarkable improvement in its commitments to transparency and privacy.”
Apple now promises to notify users when the government makes a request for their data. Law enforcement agencies can force Apple to withhold that information from its users only if a correct court order is furnished.
Apple laid out its legal process guidelines for U.S. law enforcement agencies in a webpage that went online last week. That publication is one of the measurements used by the EFF in rating a company.
Apple is also a member of the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, which the EFF sees as a sign that the company opposes mass surveillance. That coalition’s tenets state that government policy should allow only targeted data requests that are lawful and made known to the user.