We talked about it a few days ago here, for its “revolutionary” potential to be able to give users the control over their privacy on the Web. It is a new tool that has recently made its web debut: Mine. How does it work?
Mine allows you to discover all the companies that hold personal data in less than 30 seconds. Then, literally with a single click, you can send a request to company X or Y to “forget” you, to remove your data. According to the experts and insiders who have tried it in preview, it is a “super simple” way to clean up your digital traces, left every time you buy something online or subscribe to a new digital service.
Today we offer you an exclusive interview with Gal Ringel, CEO and Co-Founder of Mine, who was happy to answer our questions to deeply clarify the topic.
Gal, what are your thoughts on the current situation of privacy today and which are the main risks for users in terms of privacy violations?
«Over the past two years, it is clear that privacy has become a real field of reflection and debate for everyone. When it comes to personal data, it’s time to balance the playing field. We more and more see how people care about privacy. Faced with the sharing of any data, there is a new data breach or a privacy scandal, and, in the end, the consumers pay the price».
“Now let me explain what the privacy issue is. How do you feel when you have to click “I agree” on a web page privacy disclaimer? People accepted the situation of having no choice online. And what if they would do it differently? How would they do it? The problem is very complex and is not something before which the average user can behave freely “.
«We should be able to enjoy the internet without worrying. When we’re done with a service, Mine will be there to get our data back. I suggest rethinking privacy and starting to think about data ownership and how consumers can take a more active role in protecting their data. Stopping the sharing isn’t the solution, it’s just avoiding the problem. We only leave our data where we need them. ”
Who do you think is responsible for the current privacy issues today?
«I think it’s a mix of the actions of the various subjects. How the Internet was structured, how consumers are unaware of the risks, the companies that collect a lot of data, the hackers. Nobody is responsible in particular.”
Let’s talk about your creature, Mine. How was the idea born?
«The three of us, co-founders, truly understood personal data and how valuable they are from every point of view throughout our career. We are cybersecurity and consumer gaming experts and we know how easily our personal data can be exploited and used against us. That’s why we decided to give birth to Mine: to help people all over the world to regain the ownership of their personal data online, to reduce their online exposure and the related risk».
«When we heard about the GDPR, we thought” WOW “. It’s an amazing regulation that gives consumers great powers. But we knew that, without the proper technology that would have made it accessible to the average person, it would have been difficult to use. This forced us to combine personal data and privacy policies together to give users more control over their online personal data.”
How does Mine promises to preserve users’ privacy by giving them back the control over their data?
«During daily online interactions with digital services and companies, we leave hundreds of digital traces behind us. Almost 90% of these footprints can be found in the email subject lines in your inbox, for example, “Welcome to Facebook” or “Your Amazon Receipt”. By signing up with your email provider, we will help you discover your fingerprint and understand which companies hold your data. Then, with a click, we give the user back control by making the privacy rules accessible: starting from the right to be forgotten. Whenever a user wants to delete a company, we automatically send an email to the privacy team within the company, asking to delete user data. And with this we help the user to reduce his online exposure and reduce the change to experience digital risks”.
Having access to our e-mail, is there a risk that even with Mine an appropriation of personal data could take place?
«We have built a non-intrusive technology that rebuilds your fingerprint by scanning your email inbox, just looking at the subject of your emails, the sender (the digital service), and the number of times they appear in your inbox. It is important to note that we never read, process or collect the content of your emails! Your data is truly yours. We only process the subject lines of your emails but we do not collect or store them anywhere. In addition, we do not read, process or collect the content of your emails, not now nor never.”
«The only data we store is your e-mail address (with which you signed up) and a list of the names of the companies that we have identified by your fingerprints. You can easily request a copy of the data we hold about you to see exactly what we keep. We are fully transparent about everything we are doing and, of course, in line with the GDPR regulations».
What is Mine’s business model?
“The product is currently free and will remain so for the next few months, but soon we will introduce a monthly subscription model when the product becomes premium”.
What will be the next steps in Mine development?
«Continue to improve the product by adding multiple company tracking to our fingerprints. Add multiple email providers (Yahoo / AOL / iCloud / etc.). Support multiple e-mails under the same Mine account. Track requests for the right to be forgotten until completion and much more.”