What Is Privacy In A Social Network?

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Image Source: Pixabay

Ello is the new social network that is on the up and up and garnering increasing comment about its privacy policy on the way.

Its privacy policy states "Ello is a platform built for posting and sharing public content. You should assume that anything you post on Ello other than private messages will be accessed by others"

That makes perfect sense, it is a public network after all. You want your opinions to be known, you want to be followed and adored. Ello though is allowing its users to be anonymous too if they want to be. Anonymity is protection you'd assume. And yes it is within Ello, but not necessarily outside.

Ello also states "We may also collect and store an anonymized version of your IP address, which we may use to protect Ello and its users from spam, viruses, identity theft, illegal or harmful activities". This sounds reassuring. All well and good.

Ellos privacy policy goes on: "Ello uses an anonymized version of Google Analytics to gather and aggregate general information about user behavior. To the best of our knowledge, the information gathered by Google on Ello’s behalf is collected in such a way that neither Ello, nor Google, can easily trace saved information back to any individual user".

User tracking is not only useful but essential in order to figure out what your users are doing. What pages they like to visit, what features they use the most and so on. But there are ways to track your users behavior without handing it off to other sites to make use of.

We simply don't want to take the chance with our users data. We don't want to take the chance that our users metadata would bleed out of our site to content serving sites and usage tracking mega sites who can fill in the blanks to form a complete picture of our users internet activity and identity.

A quick check of Ellos site however will reveal that at the time of going to press it is clear that actually they haven't incorporated any user tracking at all. Since I haven't got my account yet I can only assume that perhaps they turn it on for members only.

In the end, driven by investors, they will need to earn revenue and it's hard to see how they are going to turn a profit if they are shunning advertisers and those who will pay to benefit from usage data.

Thankfully we at Veeting don't have these dilemmas. Privacy has always been and will always remain central to our offering. Privacy to us means "looking after our customers best interests" even if we forego revenue from advertising and data.

We only charge for and earn revenue from our core services, online audio and video meetings. Traffic doesn't bleed away from our site in the form of analytics data that benefits the likes of Google & Co. Our data streams are locked down and even if they did end up going through GCHQ or the NSA they couldn't eavesdrop on it. We don't take that chance anyway. Basing our service in one of the most surveillance averse countries in the world, Switzerland, we believe that we are serving our customers in the best way possible.


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