Marc Al – Hames: Cliqz

Photo: Andreea M. Belu

Marc Al – Hames is the CEO of Cliqz, a secure browser with built-in quick search and integrated privacy protection: anti-tracking, anti-phishing and ad blocker. During the European Data Ethics Forum in Copenhagen, Marc touched on the gap between users’ concerns and online behavior, the need to avoid trusting companies and how Cliqz moves beyond GDPR to address data breaches risks. 

He started his presentation with a call for action: Let’s change the industry as consumers, not as experts! Marc pointed that the way forward is to start using the privacy-enhancing technologies, not just offer expertise on them.

Cliqz’s CEO compared the state of the internet with the beginning of the end in the case of Detroit’s car industry: “The internet is in the early stage, like the car industry in the 1950s: It’s free, it’s shiny, it’s exactly what the people want, except it’s unsafe at any speed”. Nevertheless, now we have both fast and safe cars because, at some point, customers thought: “Maybe it’s not great if I die.

The internet is in the early stage, like the car industry in the 1950s: It’s free, it’s shiny, it’s exactly what the people want and it’s unsafe at any speed

Following this great comparison, Marc Al – Hames went further to point that data collection per se is not bad thing. Still, the majority of users does not trust the internet with their data, in its general meaning. Marc pointed though at the gap between users’ concern and their behavior and the fact that even though such concerns exists, the users behavior does not change. But, he points, such users are right in their distrust.

Marc Al – Hames showed how, public anonymized data, if triangulated, can easily be de-anonymized with minimum 6-9 data points. The linkeage between URLs makes it possible for some data points to be associated with others.

Touching on the issue of trust, Marc suggested we should not trust any company. Why? Because Marc’s law of data: All data that gets collected eventually becomes public.

 

Watch Marc Al – Hames’s full presentation here.

Watch the rest of European Data Ethics Forum talks here.

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