Apple, Dropbox join private data fight

 

More open about official requests.

Apple and Dropbox have signed up to a privacy agreement that looks to prevent user data from being handed over to US authorities too easily.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation launched its “Who has your back” campaign in April this year, asking companies to be firmer in defending user data when government officials made requests for it.

The campaign is also pushing for amendments to the 25-year-old Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which is used by US authorities to demand information from companies holding data, claiming the legislation is out of date.

Although companies can’t refuse to hand over the details once a request has gone through due process, EFF has been pushing for companies to be more open about how they treat data requests.

Services like Dropbox store personal files in the cloud, so could be vulnerable if authorities seek out information in those files.

Apple and Dropbox were on a list of 13 companies, which also include Amazon, Yahoo, Facebook and Microsoft, that were being targeted by the EFF.

By signing up to the program, Apple and DropBox will be expected to inform users when their data is demanded by the authorities, tell them when it has been handed over and fight for privacy rights in Congress.

“It's often up to the companies to decide whether to stand with their users,” the EFF campaign states.

“While some internet companies have stepped up for users in particular situations, it's time for all companies who hold your private data to promise to do so.”

Copyright © PC Pro, Dennis Publishing


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