The fight for digital privacy continues to gain momentum.
The fight for digital privacy continues to gain momentum two years after Edward Snowden’s dramatic disclosures. But while most technology companies have made progress in protecting consumer data, some are lagging behind, according to the latest report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. This year’s report found Apple, Wikimedia, Yahoo and six others at the top of the list, meeting all criteria for industry-wide best practices. Meanwhile, WhatsApp, AT&T and Verizon faltered.
Apple is now making its less-intrusive practices a selling point, with the company’s software engineering VP repeatedly returning to the theme at recent Apple developers’ conference. “As privacy becomes something people care about, this gives Apple an advantage over Google and Microsoft, companies that sell collected data,” security industry analyst Rich Mogull told Wired.
While data privacy can at times seem esoteric, research has registered widespread concern among consumers. In a poll we conducted last year, 87% of global survey respondents worried that companies weren’t concerned enough about consumer privacy. And 82% of US voters find it concerning that the government is collecting and storing their personal information, according to Global Strategy Group.
Although the ratings only apply to technology companies at present, as Gartner’s Peter Sondergaard has famously said, “Every company is a technology company.” Brands across sectors should prepare for heightened scrutiny from consumers when it comes to privacy-protection and transparency policies.
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