While the internet revolution has transformed the world in all aspects, this change has come with certain drawbacks. One of the major problems on an upswing in recent years is the threat of data breaches and big corporations using your personal information for private profit. Recently, the infamous case of Facebook sharing private information with third-party developers has caused a much-needed stir in the privacy space. But, even outside these recent incidents, users are still being monitored online by both private and state-sponsored organizations, recording every detail of your activity.
This is what PrivacyTools, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting online privacy and helping users control their data, wants to change. They provide services, tools, and other educational resources to protect your privacy against global mass surveillance. Their thriving community of privacy-minded individuals on Reddit, GitHub, and their own website are constantly discussing privacy and data security and sharing new advances and resources in the field. Through its main website, the organization researches tools via a small team of maintainers, as well as dedicated community volunteers, and recommends various software solutions for encouraging better online privacy for all users.
PrivacyTools is offering free to use online services without advertisers or third-party tracking. They currently offer a Searx instance for searching the web without sharing information with companies like Google; Mastodon, a social media alternative to Twitter; Matrix, a federated instant-messaging platform; Gitea, a Git hosting platform for software developers; WriteFreely, a free blog host for writers, and much more! In addition to the services they host, they recommend a wide variety of third-party “privacy tools” and other resources from developers building products that don’t take your personal information.
Founded in 2015, PrivacyTools’s value lies in its transparency and community. As a non-profit organization, they do not utilize any affiliate programs or otherwise accept payments for their recommendations. Their project is sustained entirely by their community and a select group of sponsors, and is handled by the Open Collective Foundation 501(c)(3) which prevents the misuse of their funds. The website relies on its users for support and to keep it in check, and is always looking for volunteers to help contribute!