Amazon and WhatsApp don’t have your back, privacy report warns

Getting the best deals online for Amazon Prime Day
Robert Levy talks about finding the best deals on Amazon Prime Day

As Amazon took over the internet with social media posts about Prime Day Tuesday, one privacy report warned that it wasn’t doing enough to protect your data.

Prime Day, which took place July 10-11, offered Amazon Prime members deals on thousands of their products. Membership also comes with a credit card through the internet seller.

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But Amazon only got two stars in this year’s Who Has Your Back? report, released by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF).

“Online retail giant Amazon has been rated number one in customer service, yet it hasn’t made the public commitments to stand behind its users’ digital privacy that the rest of the industry has,” EFF officials state in a news release.

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The report looks at five major issues: whether or not a company follows best practices, if it tells users about government data requests, if it promises not to sell out users, if it stands up to national security letter gag orders, and if it claims to be for the reform of Section 702 of the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (which EFF claims to allow certain privacy violations).

In the report, EFF asks Amazon to “promise to inform users before disclosing their data to the government,” and ensure that third parties do not have access to its data.

Messaging service WhatsApp also scored two stars, but EFF lauded its efforts to protect the contents of messages after installing end-to-end encryption.

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The only companies to score lower than Amazon were American telecoms.

“Telecommunications companies — which serve as the pipeline for communications and Internet service for millions of Americans — are failing to publicly push back against government overreach,” EFF senior staff attorney Nate Cardozo said.

“Both legacy telcos and the giants of Silicon Valley can and must do better. We expect companies to protect, not exploit, the data we have entrusted them with.”

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Companies that offer products were the ones who had the best ratings; Adobe, Dropbox, Lyft and Uber all scored top marks.

Big tech giants like Microsoft, Apple and Google all scored four stars; Google and Microsoft didn’t offer evidence that they stood up to gag orders, while Apple didn’t appear to be for the reform of Section 702.