As demonstrated by our recent candid-camera experiment, people still have a strong desire for privacy. In general, we’re not comfortable disclosing personal information about ourselves and our friends if third parties request it without having a compelling reason.
On the Internet, however, we are often unaware of the extent to which our personal data is collected and the exact purposes it is used for.
Companies that offer their online services free of charge and are funded by selling targeted ads go to great lengths to obscure the fact that user data is systematically collected, compiled into comprehensive user profiles, and, in some cases, shared with third parties. On the websites of such companies, these practices go unmentioned, and in their privacy policies, the relevant clauses are deliberately scattered across several paragraphs and written in incomprehensible language full of cryptic jargon. What’s more, some companies even have the audacity to advertise their services as particularly privacy-friendly.
There Is Another Way
To take a stand against this widespread surveillance capitalism, which is already accepted as a necessary evil by some, we’ve joined forces with Proton, Brave, the Tor Project, and a couple of other Internet services to launch the Privacy Pledge initiative.
For one thing, the Privacy Pledge aims to show that there are indeed ways to provide online services without undermining the users’ privacy. For another thing, it proposes a set of standards every online service should adhere to in order to give users control over their data and properly protect their privacy. To learn more, please visit the Privacy Pledge website: