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German Browser Protects Privacy and Business Data

Blog. Employees in most companies and organisations use the browsers that are preinstalled on their work devices – that is probably Chrome, Safari or Explorer. Some add an additional option themselves like Firefox or Opera. However, few people know that there are other browsers that guarantee the protection of data – both private and confidential data.

“Take Action. Take Control Of Your Data. Reclaim Your Privacy. “
This is how it sounds on Cliqz’s website. And what the heck is Cliqz? It is a browser, an ordinary browser that – as opposed to most other browsers – is set to ‘private’ from the beginning. You don’t have to sit down and turn off any tracking or download different extensions to protect your data.

Cliqz is owned by German Hubert Burda media and American Mozilla, which is behind another browser, many are considered one of the better, when it comes to privacy, Firefox. However, Cliqz goes further than Firefox and has its own built-in search engine that can provide local/national results, if the user chooses to give Cliqz their location. Cliqz, does not use these data to identify users. See their privacy policy.

The most popular browsers in Denmark are Chrome (Google) and Safari (Apple), as these are preinstalled on smartphones depending on the brand you buy. But also many companies and public institutions have pre-installed browsers, and it’s not browsers who make a virtue of protecting the privacy or business data like Cliqz does.

“The greatest advantage for companies and organizations using Cliqz is that they can be sure to protect their data, e.g., we do not allow 3rd party extensions/add-ons, one of the biggest risks that data gets stolen. Also, we anonymize all data collected by trackers. Hence sensitive company information is protected,” explains Communications Manager Thomas Konrad.

No Identification of Users

Cliqz anti-tracking feature does not block cookies but overwrites all unique data that can be used to identify the user, so that they are anonymized. Cliqz’s use of machine learning means that they also detect very sophisticated tracking attempts. Unlike other anti-blocking methods that prevents access to websites, Cliqz’s method ensures access, says Konrad.

In February, Cliqz bought one of the most popular cookie blockers, Ghostery, which will be integrated into Cliqz, but can also be used as an extension in other browsers. Ghostery can also be used on the mobile as a browser that blocks cookies. While Ghostery has many millions of users worldwide, Cliqz currently has 1 million unique users a month.

Human Web
The German browser also stands behind Cliqz Human Web, which collects data about users but in anonymous form. Thus, the browser and search engine behind Cliqz can increase the relevance of their products. According to Ghostery, Human Web is a ‘revolutionary’ technology that can collect data safely and responsibly with the guarantee of anonymity and privacy.

“Both Cliqz and Ghostery users can choose whether they want to participate in our Human Web community and contribute strictly anonymous statistical data about searches and website visits. Based on these statistics, we assess the relevance and security of websites (for building our web index that drives Cliqz quick search and our anti-phishing-solution) and the prevalence and behavior of trackers (for our anti-tracking solutions). Our Human Web technology is built on privacy-by-design principles that rule out that the data is used to identify an indivual user’s behaviour,” explains Thomas Konrad.

The company strives to make money by opposing the flow of business models that collect personal data in large quantities.

We are developing innovative advertising models. We will enable advertisers to target Cliqz users very precisely based on their intent. If you look at Google and Facebook, monetizing buying interests has a big commercial potential. What makes Cliqz’s advertising model different is it’s approach to privacy: Cliqz will detect the user intent in the app itself, based on what you search and which website you visit. This happens locally and no data about your intent leaves your device. This client-side intent detection, as opposed to today’s common practice of building server-side user profiles, guarantees privacy,” says Thomas Konrad.

There are cookies blockers and adblockers. Cookie blockers such as (for the computer) block only cookies, not for advertisements, the same applies to Ghostery, whether it is an extension to the browser or a browser to the mobile. However, the most popular are adblockers, especially the AdblockPlus app but also AdblockFast. Especially the latter can be recommended, as AdblockPlus actually allows some advertisements to pass if they comply with AdblockPlus’s own rules, so they can shame their revenue themselves. Both apps block both for advertisements and cookies, and you may risk accessing content because some websites have blocked blocks. Recent numbers of users of adblockers are globally more than 600 million, and the younger, the more they are used.
For corporate use, we recommend preinstalling the Cliqz browser, so you do not have to install additional programs to avoid being trapped.

The CEO of Cliqz, Marc Al-Hames, comes and speaks at DataEthics and Dansk IT’s big conference 29.9.2017 in Copenhagen.