Personal Privacy
Why Use Privacy Companion?


 

 
 

What is IDcide's Privacy Companion?

Privacy Companion from IDcide is a free software application - an extension to the browser - that enables you to:

  • Know when you are being tracked on the Net and who is tracking you. When you're surfing the Web, you're being tracked by organizations that want to profile you. They want personal data, and they want to track the sites you visit and get an idea about your personal preferences.
    Privacy Companion enables you to find out who is following you, whether it is the site you are visiting or third parties, like advertising agencies and profiling companies (known as Tracking Networks).
  • Decide how much data you'll share - and how much privacy you want. Privacy Companion from IDcide lets you decide how much personal information, if any, you want to give away.
    High privacy - Blocks cookies from the site you are visiting, as well as all Tracking Networks.
    Medium privacy - Blocks only Tracking Networks.
    No privacy - Lets anyone follow your movements.

 

Why Use IDcide's Privacy Companion?

When you surf the Internet, thousands of Web sites are constantly gathering information about you and where you go on the Net. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that, but it's your right to be notified that a site is tracking you, to choose whether you want to be tracked, to choose what information to provide, to which sites and for what purpose. When you shop in stores or walk in the street, you're a private citizen and your life is your own. You should have the same rights on the Internet.

We at IDcide developed Privacy Companion to address exactly these issues. This innovative software application, which you can download free, enables you to surf the Web while tightly controlling how much personal information - if any - you wish to disclose and which Web sites will gain access to that data.

Two keys to Privacy Companion are notice and consent.

First, the program gives you notice of which sites are collecting information about you and what they are collecting. It's your right to know.

Connected to this is that you should be able to consent to data collection. People must be able to prevent the collection of their personal data. In addition, if they consent to use of their data, they should be able to bar the use of it for other than the original purpose.

Privacy Companion from IDcide means personal privacy and peace of mind while you are on the Net.

 

Personalization

When you surf to a favorite Web site, you may notice that the ads and content that appear while you're surfing bear more than a passing resemblance to the subjects that interest you and to the sites you visited recently.

These things don't happen by chance; they occur because the site has gathered data about you. For example, many sites ask registrants to fill out personal content pages that let them open personal accounts, state their preferences, and receive tailored content. At some e-commerce sites, a more automated personalization service offers you merchandise based on your shopping history. If you refuse to provide personal data or if you prevent this kind of tracking, you give up these personalized services.

The upshot of all this is that tracking isn't inherently harmful. It can make surfers' lives much easier. But IDcide believes that you have the right to determine what information you are willing to share with Web sites and what they can do with that data.

 

IDcide's Solution

IDcide was founded on the premise that consumers should be able to create for themselves a balance between privacy and personalization. The company has developed unique technologies and tools that empower users to ensure their privacy on the Internet. IDcide's Privacy Companion is designed to inform surfers when they are being tracked on the Web and who is tracking them. It also enables them to decide what information, if any, they wish to divulge to a particular site.

Privacy Companion is an add-on to your Web browser that alerts you when it detects persistent cookies, which can be used to track you. Privacy Companion lets you know when it detects such a cookie, who might have placed it, and where the cookie may have tracked you.

Because Privacy Companion is designed to distinguish between monitoring performed by the sites you visit and monitoring by Tracking Networks, it gives you great flexibility in deciding when to allow tracking. You can opt in or out of a cookie-based tracking with a simple mouse click. That means you don't have to reject cookies from every site you visit or change your browser settings. Privacy Companion automatically distinguishes between the site you are visiting and the other sites.

The program also protects you against data spills, the accidental disclosure by a Web site of your personal data to a Third-Party. Because Privacy Companion blocks the transfer of information through the Referrer header field, the product prevents these so-called data spills.

IDcide believes that surfers should control who knows about them and should have the right to decide when and whether sites can use cookies to track their habits.

 

© IDcide 2001