This Washington Post headline caught my attention this week:
With the seemingly daily stream of news stories about hacks, breaches, voice & facial recognition tech, and other invasions of our privacy, it’s no surprise that the Post editorial board might think so.
But here’s the truth: Privacy isn’t fiction, it’s just really hard, by design, because the companies that are collecting our data, packaging it up, and selling it want to keep it that way.
Thanks to privacy laws passed in Europe and California, new laws recently enacted in Virginia and Colorado, and with Congress poised to act on a federal standard, consumers have been newly empowered with a number of key privacy rights:
The right to know what information companies have collected about you
The right to tell companies to delete some or all of that data
The right to tell companies to stop selling your data
The right to be compensated when a company negligently exposes your data in a breach or hack
But here's the catch: All of these laws put the onus on consumers to act on your rights. That's the bargain that companies have struck with policymakers on privacy. Privacy requires you to opt-out, rather than opt-in.
Companies have no incentive to make it easier for you. Yes, they are required by law in some (and soon, many) jurisdictions to respect your privacy choices. But there are no universal standards or APIs to make it easy for consumers to exercise their rights at scale.
With your data likely collected by hundreds of businesses -- many of which you've never ever heard about -- it would take you hundreds of hours, or many weeks or months, to fully exercise your rights.
That's where Confidently comes in: We're building a platform to help you take back control of your personal data, all across the internet.
You deserve to be able to decide, for yourself, which companies should have access to your personal data (because you value the service they provide to you) and which companies shouldn't.
You deserve to know that, whenever you visit a new website or sign up for a new service, a trusted privacy partner is helping you clean up your tracks.
You deserve to be alerted whenever your personal data is exposed on the dark web or leaked through a company's data breach -- and get compensated for it.