Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Apple, Facebook and Google will let you know of their secret data seizures

Apple, Facebook and Google, among other major tech companies, have agreed users have the right to know when their information is being seized by the government.

The big names in tech have stated they will start to inform you when your information is on the list for government seizure, defying investigators’ wishes.

People’s Internet data gets included with criminal investigations every year, but now some of those could be given the opportunity to fight that in court to prevent personal information disclosures.

However, prosecutors suggest that if tech companies do tip off their users, criminals may be given the time they need to destroy evidence before investigators can get their hands on it.

“These risks of endangering life, risking destruction of evidence, or allowing suspects to flee or intimidate witnesses are not merely hypothetical, but unfortunately routine,” said Pete Carr, US Justice Department spokesperson.

This latest announcement is part of the technology industry’s wish to get as far away from the NSA Edward Snowden exposed scandal as possible.

Facebook, Microsoft, Google and Apple are all expected to update their privacy policies to include routine notications of data seizures, unless specifically prohibited by legal authorities.

“It serves to chill the unbridled, cost-free collection of data and I think that’s a good thing,” said Albert Gidari Jr, a partner at Perkin Coie, representative of multiple technology companies, talking to the Washington Post.

Twitter already notifies its users when investigators collect data and was one of the first companies to do so. Now it seems the major tech companies are ready to follow suite.

“Post-Snowden, there is a greater desire to compete on privacy. Companies have had notice policies and cared about these issues for years. It’s only now that it’s being discussed at the CEO level,” said Marc Zwillinger, founder of Washington-based law firm ZwillGen, who look after several tech companies.

Read more: Best mobile phone 2014

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.