Startup The Privacy Co has exited stealth mode by launching its app Priiv to help users protect against privacy theft.
Launched on iOS in the US and Canada, the free app is designed to make privacy and security easy to manage for users, and intends to cover “nearly every aspect of a user’s digital life”.
At the core of the product is PriivScore, which serves as a credit score-like feature to determine how much privacy protection a user currently has, and provides a target score they can work towards by taking further steps to protect their online privacy.
“People are increasingly uncomfortable with their own devices and apps exploiting their personal data, but almost nobody knows how to make it stop,” said Craig Danuloff, CEO of The Privacy Co.
“We decided to solve this problem by building the Priiv app. It helps anyone make steady progress to achieve meaningful and highly impactful changes in terms of how you and your data are protected.”
The Privacy Co, which raised $3m in seed funding in 2019 to develop the product, intends to monetise the Priiv app by offering additional features as in-app purchases in the future.
Priiv app launches as privacy theft concerns grow
Priiv has been launched amid growing concerns about privacy online, much of which is worsened by a lack of knowledge in users about what steps to take to protect themselves – something the app is designed to combat.
It covers five types of risk: personal, which covers embarrassment and self-censorship; commercial, which includes price discrimination and ad targeting; financial, which includes identify theft and economic loss; physical, which includes harm and harassment and political, which covers disenfranchisement and oppression.
“We are living in the era of privacy theft,” said Jordan Arnold, co-founder of The Privacy Co and CIO of cyber defence company K2 Intelligence
“We’ve seen it lead to drained bank accounts; hacked inboxes and the forever leakage of photos and other personal documents; as well as home address information that ends up in databases that can help an adversary find your front door.
“The threat associated with the use of stolen, mishandled, or data brokered personal information cannot be overstated. The good news is that so much of this can be avoided and we created Priiv to help people do just that.”
While just a few years ago users seemed ambivalent about their online privacy, headlines about data breaches, and privacy scandals such as Cambridge Analytica have increased awareness of the need to protect privacy, which is why the company believes there is now a market for the Priiv app.
“The danger of privacy loss was once hard to define; people were uncomfortable with the idea of their information being shared, but didn’t quite understand why it mattered,” said Danuloff.
“Today everyone has read stories of real damage being done by shared location data, felt the watchful eye of ads following them, seen digital assistants record more than requested, and heard about dozens of other leaks and abuses. It’s created an urgency in people to protect themselves.”