Microsoft awarded with top honors for trying to protect customer data from the government


EFF awards Microsoft with top honors for trying to protect customer data from the government

Microsoft has earned top honors from the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) for the company’s efforts to protect customer data from the government. The rating was included in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s fourth annual report grading technology companies on their approaches to customer data access requests by government.

According to the report, titled “Who has your back,” Microsoft has met all six factors needed by a company to rank high in the report. These factors include the stringency of the legal demands companies require before providing data, the efforts used to notify customers about government demands, transparency in reporting the demands, type of demands received, and the efforts to fight for consumers’ privacy rights in court and in Congress.

The report awards up to six gold stars for best practices in categories like “require a warrant for content” and “publish transparency reports.” Last year, California internet service provider Sonic was the only company that earned a full six stars. This year, Apple, CREDO Mobile, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Yahoo all joined Sonic in receiving six full stars. Companies like LinkedIn, Pinterest, SpiderOak, Tumblr, Wickr and WordPress only missed getting all six stars because they do not fight for consumers’ privacy rights in court. 

Myspace, AT&T, and all scored two stars, while Snapchat scored one star – pretty much confirming that these companies are the least trustworthy.

For the first six months of 2013, Microsoft received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies affecting 66,539 accounts affecting Hotmail,, SkyDrive, Xbox LIVE, Microsoft Account, Office 365, as well as Skype. However, only a small number of those requests resulted in the disclosure of customer data.

Microsoft has made it clear that they will only release this type of information to law enforcement with a valid subpoena to see non-content data and a court order or warrant to see customer’s content. Microsoft also tries to make sure that the information requested is within the boundaries of the law. 

Hit the VIA link below to check out the report.