EFF: WhatsApp Doesn’t Have Your Back When It Comes To Security

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Electric Frontier Foundation’s security ratings criticise messaging app for major security flaws

WhatsApp has earned just one star out of a possible five for security in the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s (EFF) annual ‘Who has your back?’ security report.

The report analysed companies on varying security criteria, from looking at whether they adhere to industry best practices to policies on opposing back doors.

One star

WhatsApp earned just one star, given for publicly opposing back doors in its software. But the Facebook-owned messaging app also failed to earn stars on disclosing government-issued data requests, disclosing policies on data retention, and following industry-accepted best practices for security.

“WhatsApp earns one star in this year’s Who Has Your Back report,” said EFF. “This is WhatsApp’s first year in the report, and although EFF gave the company a full year to prepare for its inclusion in the report, it has adopted none of the best practices we’ve identified as part of this report.”

whatsappWhatsApp was outshone by other companies in the annual report. Both Yahoo.com and WordPress earned five out of five stars, whilst messaging rival Snapchat earned three. Dropbox and Facebook earned five and four, respectively.

However, the EFF report said that it does commend Facebook for aligning WhatsApp with its decision to oppose back doors.

“We think it’s time to expect more from Silicon Valley. We designed this report to take the basic principles of Who Has Your Back up a notch and see which companies were still leading the pack,” said EFF.

“Already, our newest report has had a similar effect on the industry as a whole, encouraging companies large and small to strive for more when it comes to standing by their users. In the months since we first told the companies what this year’s criteria would be, we’ve seen significant improvement in company practices. And we hope—and expect—that over the next year, we’ll see even more.”

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