EFF: U.S. Wireless Carriers Not Protecting Customer Privacy

Most of the largest wireless carriers in the United States including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile aren't doing enough to protect the privacy of their customers in regards to government overreach, according to the latest iteration of the Who Has Your Back survey conducted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). In an extensive report published earlier this week, the EFF detailed its findings and individually rated all telecom and tech giants in the country based on their user privacy-related practices.

Apart from a number of mobile service providers, Amazon and WhatsApp both received below-average ratings, having only been awarded one out of possible five stars in the EFF's rating system. While neither firm is a stranger to resisting user data requests from the government, both still have outdated policies and haven't supported the digital privacy of their customers in a public manner like the majority of the tech industry did, the EFF claims, while also making a similar argument for many Internet service providers in the U.S. Wireless carriers still aren't informing their customers when their private data is disclosed to the government and made little effort to push for a review of all national security letters (NSLs) that many other tech giants in the country are advocating for, the survey revealed.

Nine U.S. firms managed to earn all five stars from the EFF this year, with the organization claiming that Uber, Lyft, Adobe, Pinterest, Wordpress, Dropbox, Credo, Sonic, and Wickr are all doing their best in order to fight unlawful data requests and inform their customers of any potential government overreach. All of those companies have been employing such practices for years now and have also ranked high in previous iterations of the EFF's annual survey. The issue of digital privacy recently returned to the public spotlight in the U.S. after the Congress voted for a controversial repeal of broadband Internet privacy rules, allowing ISPs to sell customer data to third parties much like Internet firms like Google and Facebook are allowed to. Many telecom giants later pledged to protect the privacy of their customers regardless of that bill but apparently still have a long way to go in regards to dealing with government overreach.

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About the Author

Dominik Bosnjak

Senior Writer
Dominik started at AndroidHeadlines in 2016. He’s approaching his first full decade in the media industry, with his background being primarily in technology, gaming, and entertainment. These days, his focus is more on the political side of the tech game, as well as data privacy issues, with him looking at both of those through the prism of Android. Contact him at [email protected]