A group of 12 organizations have come together to lay the foundation for what they describe as an “alternative internet” to that controlled by big tech companies, outlining a set of principles to build An internet that focuses on privacy for the public good.
The Privacy Pledge It was signed by many well-known developers of privacy-focused services, such as web browser operators brave and the . projectMobile search and web browser Nevaand secure email solutions proton And the Tutanota.
The group says that the Five Core Principles in the Privacy Pledge, which do not endorse or reflect any specific policy or technology tool, will serve as a springboard to return the Internet to the original vision of its creators — an open, democratic and private platform that facilitates the free exchange of information, open communication and individual privacy, in Face the reactionary attitudes of big technology and Surveillance capitalism.
This action comes as a growing wave of regular web users are turning away from the services it controls The likes of Google and MetaAnd as governments around the world consider adopting stricter online privacy laws. As such, the signers believe it is important for the private sector to take the lead in driving towards the private internet.
Andy Yen, founder and CEO of Proton, said it’s clear that the Internet is no longer working for ordinary users.
What was once a shining light for the free exchange of information, the democratization of knowledge, has become a tool of the powerful. Giant corporations routinely monetize our private lives while trying to sell us a false obligation to protect our privacy. But there is another way.
“Companies, such as those that have signed this pledge, are offering a private alternative to the status quo. By holding ourselves to higher ideals, we believe we can set an example for other innovators and offer users true privacy. By working together, we can return the Internet to what was once supposed to be.”
Sridhar Ramaswamy, CEO and Co-Founder of Neeva added: “For far too long, big technology has exploited consumer data, abused market share, taxed small businesses, and stifled competition to remain the strongest gatekeepers of our entire online experience. The ‘free’ internet paradigm came along. At a steep price; we pay for it with our attention and privacy. Consumers deserve more choices in services that put user privacy first.”
“On the internet today, people are giving up their right to privacy by agreeing to unread terms and clicking privacy warnings,” said Tutanota CEO Arne Möhle.
“The reason for this is simple: We’ve been taught that this is how the Internet works. We’ve been trained to hate clicks. We’ve been trained to hate reading jargon. But big tech is using that attitude against us. The internet we have today is fast and easy, and the enemy of everything private. This is why we launched the Privacy Pledge with other companies that put privacy first. Because a better internet is possible.”
The five principles are defined as follows:
- The Internet must be built, above all, to serve people. This means that it respects basic human rights, is accessible to all, and allows for the free flow of information. Companies must operate in such a way that the needs of users are always the priority.
- Organizations should only collect the data necessary for them to prevent abuse and ensure the basic performance of their services. They must get people’s consent to collect such data. People should also be able to easily find a clear explanation of what data will be collected, what will be done with it, where it will be stored, how long it will be stored, and what they can do to delete it. To the extent that organizations must collect information, they must use data management practices that put user privacy first.
- People’s data should be encrypted securely in transit and as silent as possible to prevent mass surveillance and minimize the damage of hacks and data leaks.
- Online organizations must be transparent about their identity and programs. They should clearly state who makes up their leadership team, where they are headquartered, and what jurisdiction they are in. Their software should be open source where practical and open to scrutiny by the security community.
- Web services must be interoperable as long as interoperability does not require unnecessary data collection or undermine secure encryption. This prevents the creation of walled gardens and creates an open and competitive space that fosters innovation.
The current list of signatories includes:
- Data Rights Activist, Educator & Subject for Netflix Great Hackprofessor David Carroll.
- Encrypted email service MailFence.
- Tracker-free search engine Mujik.
- Open Email Platform Provider Open-Xchange.
- Non-profit digital rights OpenMedia.
- Tor project.
- Safe chat app threema.
- An ad-free search engine focused on privacy You.com.