Amnesty International ranks tech companies on encryption and human rights to protect users’ privacy online

New Amnesty International report “For your eyes only? Ranking technology companies on encryption and human rights” assesses the security of companies with the most popular messaging apps. Amnesty International requested information from 11 technology companies about their current encryption standards and details of policies and practices in place to protect users’ privacy and freedom of expression on their messaging apps. Eight companies responded, while Blackberry, Google and Tencent did not. ‘Message Privacy Ranking’ ranks technology companies on a scale of 1 to 100 based on how well they: recognize online threats to their users’ privacy and freedom of expression; apply end-to-end encryption as a default; make users aware of threats to their rights, and the level of encryption in place; disclose details of government requests to the company for user data, and how they respond; publish technical details of their encryption systems. It is highlighted the ranking does not assess the security of the apps and should not be seen as an endorsement for journalists, activists, human rights defenders or others at risk. The ranking did not assess the companies’ overall human rights performance or their approach to privacy across all their services.