Apple and Facebook fare best in a new Amnesty International report ranking 11 tech companies that offer messaging services. Snapchat and Microsoft (Skype) are near the bottom.
“If you think instant messaging services are private, you are in for a big surprise,” Sherif Elsayed-Ali, head of Amnesty International’s Technology and Human Rights Team, said in a statement to The Denver Post. “The reality is that our communications are under constant threat from cybercriminals and spying by state authorities. Young people, the most prolific sharers of personal details and photos over apps like Snapchat, are especially at risk.”
Amnesty International rankings take into account the companies’ encryption practices and whether the companies disclose government requests for user data.
Facebook, which owns Messenger and WhatsApp, scored 73 out of 100. The two messaging services are the most widely used in the world, with 1 billion users each.
Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime have end-to-end encryption turned on by default. The company scored 67 out of 100 in Amnesty’s ranking.