myGaru launches personal data control app
Written by Hannah McGrath
myGaru Technologies has launched an data privacy app that aims to help users take back control of the data gathered about them online.
The app works by sweeping up personal data from users’ devices – from social media ‘likes’, to geolocation and online purchases that would traditionally be collected by third parties such as advertising technology, and preventing unauthorised use of the data.
Users of the app will also regularly receive revenue from advertisers for using their data.
The idea for the app stems from consumers’ lack of awareness that app usage and cookie requests acts as permission for their personal information to be collected and distributed, fuelling an advertising technology industry worth approximately $200 billion.
By downloading the app, and assigning myGaru as their personal data administrator, users can import their personal information from social networks, mobile apps or websites into one data storage location.
myGaru can withdraw a user’s consent on their behalf, request that advertisers stop using the individual’s data and erase it from ad databases.
A YouGov survey of 2107 adults found that overall, 42 per cent would be happy to share some identifiable data with third parties, once they’ve given their explicit consent. A total of 46 per cent said they would be willing to share data on their interests or preferences with digital advertisers in return for small regular cash payments.
The research also revealed the need for more transparency in how data is collected and shared, with nearly half 48 per cent calling for more education or awareness about how online data is monetised by brands.
Commenting on the launch, Spyridon Kleitsas, chief executive of myGaru said: “Data privacy should be a fundamental right for all, however users don’t always realise that they’re giving consent for their data to be used - their photos, messages and personal information - by unknown third parties.
He added:“As the businesses are hoovering up this data, in industrial quantities – and selling it on - the user is largely left in the dark about what data is out there and who’s using it.”