Around 2013, members of the PrivatizeMe team noticed ads that seemingly followed them while browsing the Internet; ads for hotel rooms in Barcelona that stalked us for months after the business trip was over for example. Like most of us, we like ads when they are meaningful and timely. We are not anti-advertising – in fact we recognize that our favorite sites are able to provide content that we read and like because they are funded by these ads.
What bothers us is that these “trusted sites” share our personal data including browsing history with their “marketing partners” that include data brokers, Data brokers collect our personal data, build profiles on us and sell them to other websites. These websites (we have never visited before) already have our profile and know about our spending, searching or social media behavior. Based on our profiles, untrusted websites change the content and up charge us and even preselect products they show you – you see what they want you to see – not what you want to see.
While browsers have a “Do not Track” setting and can inform websites not to track you, most websites ignore this request. Imagine the scenario – you can tell sites not to send you viruses, but to be truly virus free you need to install anti-virus software. Similarly, to stop websites from tracking you and sharing your information, you need active anti tracking and anti fingerprinting technology for your browser and smartphone.
This is why we launched PrivatizeMe with the following mission:
PrivatizeMe is based in Durham, NC in close proximity to three major universities: Duke, UNC Chapel Hill and NC State. Our engineering team located in the US, EU and India.
The principals leading the company are:
We have a stellar panel of advisors with deep understanding of privacy and business issues:
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