Online privacy tool to protect users data
© Highways England

Online privacy tool to protect user data

A new open-source service created by the OPERANDO project aims to protect user privacy online, increasing the power users have over the data they transfer to online service providers.

The service is called ‘PlusPrivacy’ and offers a unified social networks privacy dashboard where the user can manage their privacy settings for Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.

There’s also a ‘single-click privacy’ that automatically sets all accounts to the most ‘privacy friendly values’.

‘Privacy-for-Benefit’ is still being developed but the plan is to create new business models which will allow users to partially trade their private data for ‘economic benefits’ — which could be the first step towards personal data as currency.

Zeev Pritzker from Arteevo Technologies Ltd, one of the partners in the OPERANDO project consortium, said: “Typically this would be a discount given by a service/product provider.

“PlusPrivacy will then get a small fee for brokering the deal that will be paid by the product/service provider.”

According to Pritzker, the data traded with service providers via PlusPrivacy would be the same as data currently ‘given away’ every time a user logs in to services such as Facebook, Twitter or Google.

Pritzker added: “While most users are not aware of it, [logging in with social media accounts] gives a third party access to their social network data. PlusPrivacy will prevent this — reminding the user to log in with email and password instead — while giving the user the option to log in with, say, Facebook and receive an economic benefit in exchange.”

Pritzker emphasised that the exchange would only happen if people explicitly opt in.