Twitter Beats Facebook, Apple, MySpace, Skype on Privacy, but Isn’t Perfect

A report card issued by the Electronic Frontier Foundation this week ranks some of the largest Internet companies across several measures of privacy and transparency – and Twitter comes out near the top of its class.

The EFF’s privacy report card is part of a larger petition that the Foundation sent on Monday to all of the listed Internet companies, “asking them to stand with their users and be transparent in their practices”.

The EFF measured just how well each company is doing across four fronts: telling users about data demands, being transparent about government requests, fighting for users’ privacy in the courts, and fighting for users’ privacy in congress. They gave out gold stars for companies who have a shining track record in one of these areas, half stars for companies working towards these things, and no stars for companies who flunked. No company got gold stars across the board.

Twitter itself is the second-best company on the report card, scoring a full gold star on telling users about data demands, and one half star each for being transparent about government requests and fighting for its users in court.

The only company which scored better than Twitter is Google, which earned itself two full stars for fighting for its users in court and Congress, and two half stars for telling users about data demands and being transparent about government requests.

Twitter beat out Facebook, which had only one full gold star for fighting in Congress. It also trounced Apple, comcast, MySpace, Skype and Verizon, all of which earned no full or half stars for any of the privacy and transparency criteria established by the EFF.