Why does privact work for EVERYONE?

It is possible to protect your privacy when you use the Internet. Even today. It just takes a lot of expertise and effort. We want to change that. Everyone has the right to preserve their privacy.

To achieve this goal, when we design the privact system, we need to remove any barriers that might prevent “everyone” from using it.

To understand how we intend to do this in principle, let us look at the main points of contact we have with users:

1. Spreading the word

This is where our allies in the free software world come in. If we find the right projects to cooperate with us, we will be able to reach almost everyone using the Internet. This will eventually give almost everyone the chance to learn about our system and decide to participate.

2. Using privact

This is about different aspects of the user experience when interacting with the privact system:

2.1 Installation

The first contact a user will have with our system will be through an application or service she trusts. Initially, this is likely to be a free software project. These are known to respect privacy.

Imagine, after updating, LibreOffice asks you something like:

We have never asked for your personal information. Not because we never needed it, but because we never had a solution to handle it properly. Now we do.
Please allow us to store your personal data on your device to enable anonymous analysis.
[ OK - Install] … [ CANCEL]

Clicking OK would complete the onboarding. Our software is installed, LibreOffice can use the data it produces, and everything works as usual for you.

2.2 Granting access

By default, services can only access the data they have written themselves. But services may need to access more data in order to be useful to the user. The user has to grant these rights. We will use the same mechanism that currently asks you on your phone when an application wants to access your camera, for example.

There are no new concepts to learn, except that there are more privileges to manage than access to the calendar or phone book.

2.3 Donation settings

Of course, there will be a privact application on your phone or computer. And you will be able to browse, update or delete all your stored personal information and have tons of settings you might want to play with.

But most importantly, you will be able to express your wishes about the donation criteria available. And when we design the app, we will make this easy for users to access and understand.

First, we will ask users if they want to donate their data at all. If they agree, they will be presented with the available criteria.

These donation criteria should ideally be presented on a linear scale. For example, one option for CO2 consumption could be: Let the user decide by what year they expect an organisation to be carbon neutral in order to donate their data to that organisation. The scale would be from now to in 20 years with annual increments.

All the user would have to do is to declare her participation in the donation system and to adjust the scales according to her wishes.

3. Consume consciously

Finally, our certification will enable users to choose privacy compliant products at the point of sale / point of use. This is an easy way for every user to actively use the right products and services and at the same time a good motivator for those who want to become privacy compliant.

It works in the same way as a label in the shop helps you to identify and buy organic vegetables.