Reclaiming Digital Privacy

Digital privacy is broken - let’s fix it.

All kinds of services are collecting our data to turn them into profit. The result: We are now the product rather than the customer. Researchers call this new way of exploitation Surveillance Capitalism.

Here’s the good news: We can fix this!

To achieve this, we need Decentralised Personal Data Storage. This means that we will store our personal data on our own devices and can decide for ourselves who is allowed to access the data and for what purpose.

Gone are the days in which we had to trust organisations not to do bad things with our data – instead, we regain control.

privact’s mission

We will fix digital privacy for everyone and make personal data useful for society.

privact is a movement that aims to make decentralised data the new normal to reclaim digital privacy for everyone. To achieve this, we are partnering up with impact initiatives.

We want to create an organisation that will do what we as users or initiatives cannot do individually. In this forum, we develop ideas and communicate with other organisations and projects that can contribute to the overarching goal of fixing digital privacy for everyone.

Partners for the social hack

We aim to build strong alliances with key civil society actors, such as:

  • initiatives working on decentralised data storage, who can help us find a common (technical) ground for the proposed personal data ecosystem. Many such initiatives already exist and have paved the way, but it is important to be inclusive of many solutions to enable broad application and dissemination.
  • Software projects, which can help us to bring our technological solution to society and to each user in the form of applications and services.
  • (Environmental) NGOs that can help us achieve the impact we are aiming for – acting as auditors to ensure that only those in support of our mission get access to anonymised data.

privact as an organisation: Trustee for users

Together we want to create a new organisation that will act as a trustee for users.

This new organisation will establish a space to provide controlled access to users’ personal data, while ensuring privacy and control. We believe that personal data is the engine of innovation and that democratic access to it will help the whole of society to progress.

That’s why our organisation’s tasks will include:

  • Enabling governance of service providers and their software and audit compliance.
  • Enabling anonymised surveys to allow innovation and research: To gain access to the survey service, the issuer must comply with our terms and conditions.
  • Providing certificates indicating compliance with our standards. (Think of it like the labels that show that some food has been grown organically.)
    *Providing and maintaining the necessary technical infrastructure.
  • But: The organisation will never store personal data itself, except to temporarily generate statistics for the surveys if no other sensible way can be found.

Impact

We believe that privacy is fundamental to a free society – and even more important in societies that are not free. Digital privacy in particular is defined by transparency and control over what data is created and how it can be used by whom. Privact wants to enable digital privacy for everyone without requiring technical knowledge.

Users that are in control of their own data are more likely to provide data voluntarily, with the data itself being more reliable, complete and comprehensive. Services can then use use this high-quality data to improve their services. This enables entirely new business models that truly benefit the individual.

privact also has another goal: We bring transparency about organisations. Organisations interested in high-quality user data will be able to apply for privacy-compliant access by demonstrating transparency themselves. This transparency in itself is a great gain for society. By linking this transparency to our donation system, we provide an additional strong incentive for organisations to improve their behaviour. The first step will be CO2 transparency.

Innovation and research depend heavily on the availability of large and high-quality datasets. We will create the largest pool of high-quality user data available. We will give researchers, initiatives, journalists, start-ups – anyone who respects privacy – equal access and opportunity to innovate with this data.

Personal data is useful. For everyone and for all. Together, we will unleash this power.

Join the movement

We will get there together as a citizens’ movement. This is the place to develop ideas, build alliances and revolutionise the way we use personal data – for a free and private society.

We look forward to welcoming you!

2 Likes

6 posts were split to a new topic: Should we create some sort of a glossary?

2 posts were split to a new topic: Can we improve the displayed articles in the Introduction category?

Hi Björn,

It’s really amazing what you have already generated :clap:t5:

I am struggling with the following topics (it might be due to my English knowledge):

  • I do not see or understand the “win-win situation”:

    • Why should the citizens collaborate with privact? What is the benefit for them?
    • What benefits do we offer for organizations that want to have access to our data? With us, they have to be transparent, disclose information about themselves and their CO2 neutrality, change their behavior, and also have to pay for audits. Currently, they can just be as they are and buy the data they need. Is it all about their reputation?
  • Can we also explain in the glossary the terms:

    • “services and survey issuers”. Do we mean the organizations that want to get access to privact data?
    • “compliant survey issuers”. What does compliant mean in this context?
      For an issuer, who never handles personal data, only fully anonymized data, it is sufficient to make CO2 neutrality transparent.
      What does “compliant” mean for other “issuers”?
1 Like

Thanks a lot, but it is not only me. I have to pass this on to the many people that helped getting where we are now!

The answer to this question is surprisingly complex.This is mainly due to us still not being precise in the use of our wording.
Esp. “privact” as a term currently covers a lot of things. So let’s look what benefit citizens (I translate this as layman, the average user) get from using / collaborating with privact, from the perspective of the different things privact currently covers:

  • us, the community, the people thinking and discussing here &
  • the basic idea of the social hack we are doing:
    Citizens should not join these parts of privact, unless they have a personal motivation for doing so. We are talking publicly, but we are actually specialists working on a special topic.
  • the technology we will create and apps running upon this technology:
    Citizens should use our technology, because it will be the easiest way for them to stay private and to experience even better services than today possible. Also they can help to reduce CO2 on short term and win even more power longer-term.
  • the organizations we will create (e.V and foundation):
    Citizens need to trust us to do the right things right:
    for the e.V this means that citizens are willing to support us financially and for the foundation, it means they trust us doing the thing in their interest.

Easy access to the biggest and highest quality pool of personal data ever existed. And advantages at the point of sale / point of usage decision (Because they can use the privact seal to easily inform the potential users about their way to work with private data) . And probably also their reputation :slight_smile:

Yes. There are mainly two classes of users: Services that are doing something (hopefully) good for you individually based on access to your data and surveys, so research wanting to learn something about a group of people. Behind each of them usually is an organizations, which has to provide the transparency to participate in our system.

I guess just a not needed fill word here. The whole section does not belong here. Changed.

The glossary has been growing to clarify these terms. There is an article about the governance, which entities would have to agree to, to be allowed to handle personal data. That article was just created and is far from finished. Please help by adding best practice or even what you would desire - we can always edit it later :slight_smile:

Thanks to the great effort from @Kevin we now have a much better version of this page. Thanks a lot!