Tuesday, December 6, 2022
Published 3 Years Ago on Friday, Jan 24 2020 By Inside Telecom Staff
Both business and public
attitude towards Facebook and Google’s use of private and sensitive data is
growing increasingly negative. Despite a multitude of privacy scandals, both
continue develop more products to harness and sell personal information for a
Rising technology startups are
now creating user-friendly products integrated with heightened privacy features
in areas like social media, analytics and online search in response to this
Inside Telecom has found six
rising tech companies leading the backlash against the social media and search
Ello is known as the ‘anti-Facebook social network’ and is one
of the most recent startups to go viral. The company has rather strategically
capitalized on public concern in regards to how personal data is used. When it
went viral, it was registering over 30,000 sign-up requests per hour.
Ello’s rapid rise to fame and privacy friendly reputation
have helped it secure a huge $5.5 million in funding. The company has also
pledged that it will never use ads, consequently ensuring that it will not be
selling off private data to advertising companies.
The internet today is a centralized structure, meaning that
most of the data flows through a small number of companies, like Google,
Facebook and Amazon. Google accounts for 40% of all internet traffic.
The potential risk of leaks, hacks and pressure from spy
agencies are at an all-time high because so much data is in the hands of a few
main players. Users are becoming increasingly concerned about how private their
data will stay.
is a decentralized alternative to Facebook campaigning for a redistributed data
structure of the web. Another huge bonus of this social network is that it is
user-owned and non-profit and built on the free Diaspora software. It was
handed over to its community of users in August 2012 by the original founders.
As such, any development is done by the users themselves.
Data, therefore, is not
contained in company-owned centralized servers, but in user-created nodes,
known as pods, which are distributed around the world. These can be created by any institution or
individual that wishes to become a part of the ever-expanding Diaspora network.
Users can also choose which ‘pod’ they wish to register with, and recover and
erase their data as required.
When startups go head to head
with privacy technology such as Facebook or Google, it is often a ‘David and
been around since 2008, DuckDuckGo gained its popularity in 2013, in response
to the revelations about NSA mass surveillance.
DuckDuckGo registers around 50
million searches per day, and works in the same way as Google but has a simple
not collect IP addresses or track the searches of its users.
This technology also goes a step
further by blocking third-party background trackers and using secure
connections to websites including, showing a privacy grade for each visited
Furthermore, DuckDuckGo is free,
and makes money through advertising, however (before you interrupt), the
adverts it displays are not based on
the history or behavior of the user. For example, if you search for “jewelry”
on DuckDuckGo, you may see a jewelry-related advert, but it will not be
influenced by anything you have searched for or browsed in the past
Wickr is a surveillance-proof messaging app that accepts no
less that highest level of encryption. We are talking military-grade privacy
here. Wickr is used by those who are reluctant and wary of using Facebook
messenger and Facebook-owned WhatsApp. More than one million self-destructing
and encrypted messages go through Wickr every day. The company has also recently raised $30m in funding.
Although Google Analytics is a
popular and convenient way for individuals, companies and governments to
analyse traffic on their websites, it is not the only analytics tool out there.
Piwik PRO, is an open source web
analytics platform and consultancy, which places its users in control of their own
data and never shares this data with other servers.
Piwik PRO is the business arm of Piwik.org and helps its users to protect their data with opt-out appliances for tracking analytics, taking a positive approach to deleting old visitor logs, using anonymous IP addresses, respecting ‘DoNotTrack’ requests and providing shorter expiration dates for tracking cookies. Piwik PRO also helps customers set up and maintain Piwik on-site installations, ensuring data remains protected on customers’ servers.
The majority of businesses use Google Drive to share and
collaborate on documents. Despite this, concerns are being raised about the
privacy risks that come with using Google Drive and companies such as SpiderOak
are now tapping into the need for applications with heightened privacy
SpiderOak adopts the
‘Zero-Knowledge’ approach. This means that the server never knows the plain
text contents of the data it stores, ensuring that data is never at risk of
being compromised or manipulated by either internal threats or external
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