Opera Max has announced a new Privacy mode in its Android app. The company says that in this mode, data is always encrypted and anonymised. Further, users can also see real-time privacy alerts by scrolling through the Privacy Mode timeline. They can also tap on individual timeline cards to see a breakdown of what an app did in did in any particular session. The company says that the new Privacy timeline is a useful tool to keep an eye on apps that are putting the user’s private data at risk.
Read the complete press release below
Many apps send out hundreds, even thousands, of requests per day to third parties and put their user’s privacy at risk. New Opera Max’s privacy mode reveals which apps are bad and which apps are good in terms of sharing data with third parties. Showing this at an app-specific level is a breakthrough in mobile privacy tools.
With Opera Max’s privacy mode, data is always encrypted and anonymized. It provides an extra layer of industry-standard TLS/SSL protection on top of whatever the banking, shopping or messaging app does or does not offer.
“Most people would not reveal their credit card details or full name to employees of a physical store where they live when shopping and browsing for products. But, on mobile apps, people are not aware that this kind of information can be shared,” says Sergey Lossev, Head of Product, Opera Max. “That is why we have implemented privacy mode in Opera Max. We want to educate our users by revealing which apps are sharing your data through trackers without your permission.”
To see real-time privacy alerts, users can now scroll up and down the privacy mode timeline regularly and also tap on individual timeline cards to see the “privacy breakdown” of what an app did in a particular session. The new privacy timeline is a useful tool to monitor when apps are putting user’s private data at risk.
Block all forms of trackers: don’t be a target for ads
Have you ever experienced that creepy ad-tracking effect on your phone? The one where products you were checking out on various websites start showing up on every other webpage you visit? This happens because web- and ad-trackers are collecting user’s private data and tagging them for retargeting by future ads. Tracking JS scripts and cookies are some of the most common ways websites tag visitors.
“On average, more than 300 trackers a day report my info to other companies. Some of you may attract even more because of the apps you installed or the websites you browse”, adds Sergey.
Opera Max’s privacy mode will not only reveal which apps are high privacy risks, but can help in blocking these trackers. The core of Opera Max’s blocking mechanisms is based on the EasyPrivacy filter list, which is a reliable, open-source platform used by other ad-blocking services as well. It helps reduce the amount of profiling users are subjected to.
Encrypt and anonymize your app data when you are on public Wi-Fi networks
Most smartphone apps do not fully encrypt their data requests. Instead of using only https (or another secure way of sending data) these apps use http and end up transmitting users’ data in "clear text". Using unencrypted (http) apps on a public Wi-Fi network is like opening a door for cybercriminals to access important data, including account names, passwords and conversations saved on the mobile device. Hackers can intercept all of your traffic and read everything you send that is not encrypted. With privacy mode in Opera Max, users can encrypt all app data and browsing traffic on Wi-Fi with a tap of a button. This offers the users an additional layer of privacy and security so that there is not even one iota of chance of your personal data being misused by someone else.