Apple Inc Scores Highest in Privacy and Data Protection; Stock Held by Hedge Funds Fall

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By Reissa Su | May 19, 2014 6:55 PM EST

Apple Inc has scored high in Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF)'s privacy report. The digital rights advocator gave Apple a perfect mark of six stars in its effort to protect user data and policies towards government data requests.

Reuters
Raindrops are seen in front of an Apple logo outside an Apple store in Shanghai February 22, 2012.

Apple has been given a perfect rating three years after a poor performance in user data protection. According to the EFF, Apple's score has been "striking" because the company had lagged behind other tech companies in the previous years. Apple has earned only a one-star rating in 2011, 2012 and 2013. The EFF has commended Apple for its "remarkable improvement" to protect privacy and transparency.

Apple Inc was rated on requiring warrants for content, publishing transparency reports, law enforcement guidelines; fighting for user rights in courts and in Congress. EFF also evaluated the company on its practice of informing users about data requests.

Being a member of the Reform Government Surveillance Coalition, Apple Inc does not support mass surveillance since the coalition believes that government policies must only target legal and specific data requests which the user should have the right to know.

Aside from Apple, EFF also revealed Facebook, Microsoft, Twitter, Dropbox and Yahoo received six-star ratings for their efforts to protect user data.

Apple stock held by most hedge funds declined

Many investors have favoured Apple Inc stock for a long time now with a mix of individual and institutional shareholders. According to reports, Apple remains "extremely popular" among firms like Capital World Investors that bought shares in the last quarter with over 3.6 million shares.

Billionaire activist Carl Icahn was among the biggest investors 2.8 million shares, following Capital Research Group's investment of almost 3 million shares.

Those who sold Apple shares in the last quarter include Norgest Bank which sold nearly 6.7 million shares, according to reports.

The number of hedge funds that held Apple Inc shares fell to 6 per cent. However, analysts said the reason may be Apple's recent stock buyback. Apple's adjusted share price increased to 20 per cent during the quarter which closed at $554.58.

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(Photo: Reuters / )
Raindrops are seen in front of an Apple logo outside an Apple store in Shanghai February 22, 2012.
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