August 23, 2022
Have you ever walked past the orange juice aisle and noticed the 100 types they have? Seriously. There’s pulp, no pulp, sugar-free with pulp, extra pulp, from concentrate, organic - I could go on. Now looking at the data privacy world - the number of alternatives are basically non-existent. Surf’s involvement in data is to provide fresh alternatives to consumers, one that allows them to earn from data they are already sharing to these big tech companies.
Your data is worth something - like 500 billion something, and companies have been finding even more loopholes to get your data. Surf wants to help push user autonomy and this starts with understanding how valuable your data is.
Big tech companies see your data as a goldmine, they may use it to further benefit your experience, but it is also very valuable as an asset to third party companies. However, the recent trend has been a shift in transparency in data, this trend has led to some alternatives like being able to turn off certain cookies - as you choose to limit the data you are sharing it is usually your experience with these websites. However, choosing to stop sharing your data completely is out of the question, as you have to say no to those long terms and policy notices and basically quit the internet. It’s hard not to share this data and it’s understandable to want to use the internet but even then, most users must jump through a couple of hoops to see which websites have their data and what exactly they have. There’s no question that your data is valuable and that means you should have control over who's profiting from it and how.
Surf wants users to be able to take a piece of a pie that big tech has been able to enjoy for years from your data. When you first go to download the extension, we don’t ask for your name or age, just your gender and general location. This is the most personal data you are sharing. Our extension works completely in the background to collect browsing data - data you would have already been sharing with these big tech companies. However, where Surf differentiates to ensure user comfort and transparency is how we allow users to:
1. Pause the extension where no data is shared with Surf
2. See the exact data you are sharing with Surf and deleting anything you're not comfortable with (within 24 hours before it’s shared with us) through the “My Data” section
Once this data is sent to Surf - you have collected your points for your rewards, and we are ready to make sure it stays safe and protected. The data is aggregated and anonymized before the data is sold which means no data is traced back to the individual.
Surf has a high involvement with your data but other than bringing you a new way to control your data there are also many other ways to reap the benefits from Surf. As you earn points from sharing your data you can redeem them for rewards, and are able to enter giveaways from various amazing partners. The Surf rewards marketplace is being constantly updated with new companies and better rewards, over half of this marketplace holds rewards that are completely exclusive to Surf users. Surf wants to be the bridge to help push for data autonomy; from the user's side towards the brands in our marketplace. As the user base grows, Surf will showcase wanting to earn from data but also transparently seeing exactly what you are sharing with these companies.
To conclude, the data Surf collects and rewards you for is data that is already shared with these big tech companies, we want to let you earn something from it. This is how we can aim to be more like orange juice. Surf wants to help amplify the voices of users who want different alternatives and a variety of choices when it comes to handling their data.