Data is the by-product of our digital thought processes and decisions. Every action we take online, every click and keystroke we execute, generates a vast amount of data. This data should belong to us individually. But, unfortunately, it is very hard to predict what other internet users or companies might do with it if they are able to access it. And lately, they are.
We’ve heard many unsettling stories over the last few years of companies harvesting personal information from unsuspecting parties and using that data for different purposes. In one of the most recent high-profile events, American political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica was found to have exploited the personal information of millions of Facebook users for political gain. In light of this scandal, and its ongoing fallout, online privacy is now more important to people across the globe than ever before.
In a 2018 survey conducted by IBM, 78% of U.S. consumers felt it was “extremely important” for a company to be able to keep their data private. Meanwhile, only 20% reported that they "completely trust" organizations they interact with to maintain the privacy of their data.
Of course, even before the Cambridge Analytica incident, experts were aware of the possibilities that are open to those who can access the precious, private data of billions of users. Since the invention of the internet, many companies have worked for years to protect user data and keep consumers anonymous. But we believe that a new choice exists beyond simply relying on the integrity of those experts. It’s simple: We can make everything transparent and allow users to control their own data.
But data is only part of the picture
While the recent uproars have centered on what power Facebook and others yield over our data, that is only the beginning of the privacy conversation. Consider our current crisis of privacy from these other vantage points:
- We share our personal information willingly, but with the expectation that it will be used for the specific purpose we intended it for. But how is it really being used?
- As we browse the internet, we create a digital footprint. Companies use this footprint to create a “digital persona.” This is done without our consent or knowledge. These companies then tailor what we see online, what offers we receive, and what content we are “most likely” to connect with. They make decisions for us revolving around our supposed preferences, our likes, and what might put us off. This is discrimination at best.
- Privacy should be a choice we make depending on how much we trust someone. We should be able to share “just enough,” based on the level of trust we display with companies and people online.
- We should be able to block anyone tracking our online usage so that we can experience private moments that give us space and courage to express ourselves fully.
It is with this belief in mind that the FigLeaf team promises to only gather your personal information when you choose to share it with us. Even when we have your permission, we pledge to use only anonymized data and only for the purpose of providing you with a more beneficial product experience. Your personal behavior on our website, or how you use our app, will never be tied to you individually. When we send messages, it will be to alert you to new features we have built for you, or to notify you about the status of your product and your purchase—nothing more. We will never share any of your information with third parties. The protection of your privacy is, has been, and always will be our top priority.
FigLeaf has curated some unique privacy features that help us keep our promise to you every day. Our vision for the future revolves around your privacy, and keeping it just that—private.