The Official FigLeaf Privacy Definition (and how it's changing the meaning of privacy)

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Our digital behavior reveals a lot about who we are. The sites we visit, products we purchase, and email lists we sign up for all offer insights into our habits, preferences, work lives, wallets, and geographical locations.

And while we may feel comfortable sharing certain information with the world, most of us operate under the assumption that our information is being used responsibly. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. The vast majority of companies, websites, and advertisers that gather our personal details use it for commercial gain. They track our online behavior — sometimes without our knowledge or consent — and use the data to create a digital persona, send us targeted ads, and tailor what we see on the web.

This new norm has changed the landscape of privacy, including changing common definitions of privacy, as well as how the public perceives it. In a 2018 study conducted by Akamai, 73% of consumers said they felt websites knew too much about them. Seventy-seven percent of consumers also said they would either like to have the ability to control their own data or have the right to ask websites to delete their data.

But in a world where we’re required to provide our personal details to shop, use apps, and even read certain newspapers, sharing is no longer a choice — it’s an expectation. What’s more, it’s often obligatory. Many apps and sites demand access to your location, contacts, or photo reel, which can leave you vulnerable — to unwanted advertising at best and data breaches at worst.

We believe you should never be forced to surrender your privacy if you don’t want to. At FigLeaf, we’re reimagining the definition of privacy by putting the power back in your hands. Here are the core tenets of our official privacy definition:

1. Privacy by Design

2. Zero-Knowledge Promise

3. Transparent Data Use

4. The Power of Multiple Tools

5. Total Autonomy

Read on to consider how a new definition can change the way we think about “privacy.”

1. Privacy by Design

The internet is constantly changing, which means your approach to using it should change, too. With the rise of data breaches, it’s more important than ever that you have full control over what you share with the world. Our app gives you the opportunity to choose how visible you are at any given moment online, and to change your mind as often as you want.

We don’t make blanket decisions for you or presume to know what’s best for you. We know your needs are subject to change — and we respect that. You might crave total anonymity sometimes, while other times you may want to make yourself known.

Say you’re shopping for a pair of running shoes but don’t want to be bombarded with ads for exercise gear, you can change your privacy settings and make yourself completely anonymous. On the other hand, if you’re researching upcoming film festivals and want to receive updates regarding events and tickets, you can choose to be visible. Our definition of privacy is founded on choice. No matter where you go online or what you’re doing, we believe your level of privacy should always be up to you.

2. Zero-Knowledge Promise

Your personal data isn’t just a string of numbers or series of patterns — it contains valuable clues about who you are, what you like, and how you spend your time. With so many companies requesting or requiring access to your data, it’s easy to resign yourself to sharing your personal information, whether or not you want to.

But sharing shouldn’t be the default. It should be something you actively choose. With us, you won’t leave a digital trail. Every action you take online, no matter how minor, is encrypted on our servers and on your device so that no one can see your personal data — not even us. Part of our privacy definition is that you are the only one who holds the key to your data. And if we need your personal details to assist you with a transaction, you have to give us your explicit permission and private key to decrypt it.

3. Transparent Data Use

Unfortunately, not every company is transparent about how they collect and use your data. Even if they do tell you, you may not be comfortable with the privacy definitions they outline. Even though an increasingly large number of consumers are expressing concern over how companies use their personal data, trust in the online space is no longer earned — it’s demanded.

According to a 2018 survey on cybersecurity conducted by IBM, 41% of consumers said they don’t feel confident in a company’s ability to protect their private information. That’s why we think you should have the power to choose which companies you trust and how much. After all, once you give up your information, you also give up control over how it’s used.

FigLeaf lets users keep data in their own hands, in part by granting automatic privacy. When using our app, you have to give us express permission to access your data. And even with your permission, part of our definition of privacy means that we only use anonymized data, so your behavior on our app is never tied to you individually.

FigLeaf guarantees your data won't be used for profit or exploitative purposes — we only use it to improve your product experience and ensure you’re getting exactly what you need from us. When we need to send you messages, it’ll be for the sole purpose of alerting you to new features or telling you about the status of a transaction, not requesting additional personal details or trying to sell you on anything.

4. The Power of Multiple Tools

One tool isn’t effective enough to keep your information private online, and toggling back and forth between apps to enable different privacy controls can be tedious and frustrating. We define privacy as easy to enable and easy to adjust. That’s why our app is an all-in-one solution; it doesn’t rely on just one tool but combines a handful of smart privacy features to ensure your protection.

Built into FigLeaf is a tool that lets you scan for breaches. By entering your email address, FigLeaf does a deep dive to check if your data — like your email address or passwords for accounts tied to your email address — is floating around online. Understanding just how exposed you are online is the first step to deciding when, where, and how often you want to remain private.

FigLeaf also masks your email to let you keep your real address out of future data breaches.  When you’re signing up for a new site — whether you're buying kitchen supplies or creating an account to donate to your favorite non-profit — we give you a masked email address so you can keep your personal address private. We also offer the ability to mask your payments and protect your financial details from the public. Think of it like a virtual credit card that stands in for your real one when you’re making purchases online.

In the interest of making privacy even more accessible, we also provide a tool to connect privately that can protect your details when you use Wi-Fi, whether at home or at your local cafe. And by blocking trackers, FigLeaf keeps you private so websites and online advertisers can’t see your online activity and personal interests.

5. Total Autonomy

Going online was designed to make life easier and more convenient. The inherent appeal of the internet is the freedom it grants you to participate in the world in a new way. But that freedom only exists in theory if all your choices are being micromanaged by outside parties. Your digital life shouldn’t come with a zero-privacy price tag.

You should have total autonomy over your online experience, and that includes choosing how private you want to be at any given time. We know that sometimes you want to be seen and heard, and sometimes you need space to think, create, read, shop, and explore without feeling like your every move is being tracked.

If you do opt to share, you should feel secure knowing that your information is being used in a way you’re comfortable with. That’s why we don’t believe in restricting your options or controlling your data — just in giving you the control.
With FigLeaf, we hope to create a more transparent, compassionate working, browsing, and shopping experience online. That’s our definition of privacy. Because when privacy is a choice, humanity is free. Free to collaborate, learn, and lead the way toward a brighter future — on your terms.

FREEDOM ONLINE
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Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
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Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
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Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 
FREEDOM ONLINE
Credentials Saved
Show in AppOK
 
Trackers are used to follow your every move online. We detect and block them.
See TrackersMaybe later
 

Author: Pankaj Srivastava