Preserving your online privacy has become almost a lost cause these days. Thankfully, some entrepreneurial minds have taken it upon themselves to help web users stay informed of privacy risks and take action to thwart attempts to access their personal data. Guard is a platform which is doing exactly that.
Reading the User Agreement
Everyone has multiple online accounts, and most of us are worried about their digital personality being targeted by data collectors and marketing researchers. But we are also guilty of compromising our own security as very few people actually read the small print when subscribing to a service.
The people behind Guard have analyzed the privacy policies of major social networks, forums, and messengers, including some of those that are widely used by the crypto community. Their quest has produced some interesting and helpful results.
The developers have examined the user agreements many of us have with platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, Whatsapp, Linkedin, Tinder, Pinterest, Netflix, and Aliexpress. Forums and messengers used by cryptocurrency enthusiasts like Reddit and Telegram are also part of their study.
Guard has discovered privacy threats and data leak scandals involving these services and has ranked them according to the findings. The platform has employed artificial intelligence to produce its ratings. It also surveys visitors on its website to learn what they consider a threat to their privacy and to teach the AI taking into account their input.
Among the networks that are of particular interest for members of the crypto community, Reddit, which offers a platform for cryptocurrency news and discussion, has received a “neutral” verdict from Guard. There have been no scandals around its user data practices but 24 privacy threats have been identified by the research.
The two risks that have been singled out in the report about Reddit concern the possibility of your information being shared with advertisers and the fact that your data may be recorded indefinitely. The forum keeps a complete log of all sent messages even when the accounts are deleted and retains the IP addresses from which they were created.
Among the popular social networks, Twitter, Instagram and Tumblr have scored poorly in the ratings. There’s also a notable omission – Facebook, despite its own share of cases involving compromised user data. However, Guard accepts suggestions about the next site or product you think should be analyzed and rated. The company is also developing specialized software that will be able to block trackers, delete online activity, confuse algorithms and pollute collected personal data.
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Have you thoroughly read the privacy policies of the social networks and messaging platforms you are using? Share your thoughts on the subject in the comments section below.
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