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12.06.19

Startpage CEO Robert Beens in ‘Damage Control’ Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

Posted in Deception, Search at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

“Hard to believe that privacy advocates are giving a pass to System1, but money talks.”

Robert BeensSummary: PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all

THE SAGA continues. System1 is starting to realise that its ‘investment’ in (i.e. purchase of) Startpage may have scared away otherwise-privacy-conscious users.

We’ve been tracking their steps, expecting something to be done in addition to lies and deception.

It didn’t take long.

According to Crunchbase, “Robert is CEO of StartPage/Ixquick and oversees all company aspects including operations, product development, technology and finance. He has a special interest in consumer Privacy. He earned his Master’s degree in Corporate, Social & Economic Dutch Law from the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands.”

“We’ve been tracking their steps, expecting something to be done in addition to lies and deception.”Well, he may be going by the title of “CEO” (still), but his bosses are “an independent marketplace for keyword pay-per-click advertising. Its platform analyzes billions of consumer attributes and uses “pre-targeting” algorithms to unlock and fulfill consumer intent across channels including social, native, email, search, market research, and lead generation.”

Nice, isn’t it?

Why would PrivacytoolsIO even consider listing Startpage as a recommendation now? A cynic might think that something was offered in exchange for relisting. Just verbally maybe?

“A cynic might think that something was offered in exchange for relisting.”“Hard to believe that privacy advocates are giving a pass to System1,” a reader of ours said, “but money talks.”

“PrivacytoolsIO de-listed Startpage and is now discussing re-listing at GitHub” (conversation here).

Putting aside the disturbing fact that PrivacytoolsIO uses the privacy-violating GitHub, what does this whole thing say?

One of them said, “I recommend re-listing, maybe we a add a flag about ownership w/ a link to their support page.”

“Does Startpage respect privacy? Based on what?”This hogwash? Seriously? The surveillance company is talking about itself. It’s not even an outside audit.

Does Startpage respect privacy? Based on what? And watch the reply: “Thank you Jonah and Dan for starting the conversation to re-list Startpage on PrivacyTools. As you can see from the information we provided, we are committed to being transparent about our business and privacy practices.”

Nonsense. What transparency? The only thing they want ‘transparent’ (spied on) is the users. As we covered before (see Startpage wiki page), they’re secretive, misleading and incredibly facetious. Relisting Startpage, giving all that is known, would merely discredit PrivacytoolsIO as an authority on privacy. If they relist, it’ll bode rather badly for PrivacytoolsIO itself.

“What transparency? The only thing they want ‘transparent’ (spied on) is the users.”JonahAragon said: “the unsourced quotes in this post were from a letter shared with @danarel and myself from the Startpage CEO.”

That also said (same page): “I dislike how this information was not communicated from the start, but ever since I have had no trouble communicating with them regarding these issues. I would probably be fine with relisting them as a search engine provider at this time.”

“But hey, if that’s good enough for PrivacytoolsIO, then I’ve had enough of PrivacytoolsIO.”“From another reply, we know that Privacy One Group is a majority shareholder (51%+),” they noted. Well, that can be 99% or more. They refuse to say how much.

But hey, if that’s good enough for PrivacytoolsIO, then I’ve had enough of PrivacytoolsIO.

11.26.19

Startpage Looks Like It’s AstroTurfing — With Payments to Twitter — in Order to Boost the False Perception of ‘Privacy’

Posted in Deception, Search at 5:02 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: AstroTurfing for a fee; is this what Startpage — once known for respecting people’s privacy and dignity — has been reduced to now that it is seemingly bossed by a surveillance company (it refuses to address the subject)?

OUR Startpage wiki page, which we started some weeks ago, documents our findings about the sell(out) of Startpage — a search engine we’ve used and recommended for years. It had been fine until it got sold (at least a majority of it). We’ve taken a look, over at Twitter, at all the ads currently shown [PDF]. They actually pay Twitter a chunk of money to pretend they’re still privacy-respecting. How much money? It’s hard to tell, but there’s a budget dedicated to this lie. Does System1 foot the bill?

“There’s almost no comment of substance there except Startpage staff commenting/replying to self/ves.”“Apparently,” one reader told us, “Startpage ran a Twitter ad recently to boost its image. See the one with all the likes and retweets about the “Big News”?”

Here it is:

Startpage spam

There’s something ‘wrong’ about the number of ‘likes’ compared to follow-ups’. Click-farming activity? Comments like “Nice tweetThanks for sharing” do make one wonder and one calls it “big spam”. There’s almost no comment of substance there except Startpage staff commenting/replying to self/ves. This kind of AstroTurfing-esque pattern does raise suspicions. It can’t be good for Startpage’s image. They’re not trustworthy anymore.

11.19.19

Startpage is Not Denying Its Betrayal of Privacy, It is Just Being Evasive

Posted in Deception, Search at 5:16 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

If you cannot deny it, you will just change the subject

Summary: They can’t call you a liar if you issue a non-denying ‘denial’; the “Roll Safe Think About It” meme seems applicable here

THE series about Startpage has been somewhat of a Techrights ‘exclusive’ and it leads us to identifying other surveillance culprits that mask themselves as the complete opposite. We must call them out because they put at great risk those who wrongly assume anonymity etc. In some countries this can lead to assassination, death penalty etc. This is no laughing matter or a luxury or a “first world problem”; it’s a profoundly critical issue and a matter we’ll write more about.

“They sent me the same ‘waffle’. They don’t actually deny anything.”“We received a very general response that did not address key questions,” PrivacyTools wrote last week. There have since then been a number of comments. Startpage/System1 people are still trying to evade answering questions directly, fully and transparently.

“On the 15th of October,” PrivacyTools said, “it was brought to our attention that Startpage.com was reportedly (partially?) taken over by a company called the Privacy One Group, which is in turn owned by a company called System1. We found this quite remarkable as the two companies seem to have conflicting business models. Startpage has been known for basing their advertisements on what their users enter in their search bar. System1 on the other hand, is a pay-per-click advertising company that “has developed a pre-targeting platform that identifies and unlocks consumer intent across channels including social, native, email, search, market research and lead generation rather than relying solely on what consumers enter into search boxes. We reached out to System1 CEO Ian Weingarten for an explanation. We received a very general response that did not address key questions.”

As before. They sent me the same ‘waffle’. They don’t actually deny anything. All these ‘prepared’ and reused statements are similar to those we hear from Andrew Saxe Coburg Gotha in his BBC interview.

“Seemingly prompted by our ongoing concerns,” PrivacyTools continued, “Startpage released a public letter addressed to us from their CEO, and hosted a Q&A on their Subreddit to try and explain the situation. While some of our questions were answered, we noted that the company seemed to be evasive, essentially restating information from a previously published blog post or posting the same response to different questions. People had to really dig to get answers and puzzle all information together, instead of getting a clearly explained and comprehensive answer from the start. Requests for clarification to some important questions went ignored.”

The issue has meanwhile been mentioned by other sites. “Privacytools.io delists Startpage from its list of privacy tools and services,” said one such site. “Startpage had been taken over by Privacy One Group, which itself is owned by System1. System1 is a targeted advertising company with a business model that seemed—to many—to be in conflict with Startpage’s own privacy-centric model.”

Notice what Dan Arel wrote in the comments: “You raise some of the best points I have heard about this statement by them. It’s amazing how they somehow manages to leave us with more questions, not fewer.”

One has to conclude that they have no potent response/clarification/rebuttal/defense. Among the arguments: “If we know that System1 has a “majority ownership of Startpage” — a legal definition meaning more than 50% — do the specific percentages still matter?”

The proportion must be rather high; if it wasn’t, they’d just say what it is (openly).

11.16.19

No, Startpage is Not Dutch Anymore

Posted in Deception, Search at 9:41 pm by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

They’re not honest, either

Double Dutch
Reference: Double Dutch

Summary: Startpage is still clinging onto perceptions rather than truths; it means that Startpage isn’t just betraying privacy but it’s also dishonest and untrustworthy

IT IS no secret that Startpage is an American surveillance company now. The only question is, what proportion of the company does the US own? Some believe that all of it. Startpage has not said anything to dispute this, but over at Twitter the other day it wrote more of that misleading nonsense (lots of that lately).

Tweeted by Startpage: “Canals, Van Gogh, bicycles, tulips 🌷 🌷 🌷… Startpage! Did you know that http://Startpage.com’s HQ is in the Netherlands, meaning that all of our worldwide users are protected by stringent Dutch 🇳🇱 and European Union 🇪🇺 privacy laws.”

“Interesting to see Startpage sending out Twitter images and claims to paint itself as thoroughly Dutch,” one reader told us. “Is Startpage still Dutch if a U.S. Holding company owns all or part of it? How much could the U.S. holding company own before it loses its “Dutchness”?”

We’ve decided to set up a Wiki page to document all these recent revelations. They show just to what degree search engines that promise us “privacy” actually harm it.

11.13.19

Startpage Has Been Delisted, But it Ought to be Blacklisted

Posted in Deception, Search at 4:26 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Startpage hypocrisy

Summary: Startpage has just warned its fans (I am a former fan) of what Startpage itself covertly became months back

YOU CAN’T make this stuff up!

More irony?

Startpage tweeted: “What does the internet know about you? Companies are amassing your data — like food orders and Airbnb messages — and selling the analysis to clients. Here’s how to get a copy of what they have on you. cc: @nytimes @kashhill https://nytimes.com/2019/11/04/business/secret-consumer-score-access.html”

Does Startpage try hard to distract from what it did? This is at least the second time in a week!

“I wonder how people can find out what information Startpage’s new owner/investor System1 has on them,” one reader of ours joked, noting that “Startpage is now officially de-listed by http://privacytools.io,” as explained in this blog post by an admin:

We reached out to System1 CEO Ian Weingarten for an explanation. We received a very general response that did not address key questions.

Seemingly prompted by our ongoing concerns, Startpage released a public letter addressed to us from their CEO, and hosted a Q&A on their Subreddit to try and explain the situation. While some of our questions were answered, we noted that the company seemed to be evasive, essentially restating information from a previously published blog post or posting the same response to different questions. People had to really dig to get answers and puzzle all information together, instead of getting a clearly explained and comprehensive answer from the start. Requests for clarification to some important questions went ignored.

Because of the conflicting business model and the unusual way the company reacted, claiming to be fully transparent but being evasive at the same time, we have no choice but to de-list Startpage from our recommendations until it is fully transparent about its new ownership and data processing.

From what we’ve been able to gather, one should assume the worst; their reluctance to clarify means that they prefer uncertainty and confusion over reality itself. Moreover, they’ve already admitted who put the finger in the pie. It’s System1, laughably disguised as ‘Privacy One Group’ and connected to banks.

Facepalm Bear: We sold to a surveillance company because we value your privacy

11.12.19

Privacy-Centric Services and Even Drupal/Acquia Defect to the Camp of Mass Surveillance

Posted in Deception, Search at 5:23 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Defective by defection (or when good things suddenly become bad)

Defective traffic light

Summary: In search of money [pun intended] companies and services that are supposed to respect their customers and users turn out to be doing the opposite; this merits research and public discussions

SINCE we started covering the issue of privacy online we’ve received a number of pointers that led to further articles (this page has our most recent search-related posts in Techrights) and hours ago we discussed in our IRC channel Swisscows — a site we hadn’t heard of before (the IRC logs will be published tomorrow). Swisscows appears to have been discussed among privacy-conscious people and we meanwhile study a number of services that were sold (ownership changed) to potentially privacy-violating hands that engage in large-scale surveillance; that’s their business model.

“What does the new owner of Acquia plan for Drupal itself?”Yesterday we also saw this alarming page about the latest Acquia pivot towards surveillance capitalism — the second such move that we saw in recent months. The first move predates Acquia being sold and it’s disturbing because this is the company behind Drupal, which powers many millions of sites and thus impacts what code/extensions they run. I spoke to the founder of Drupal about this. Whether he controls Acquia or not is a matter of debate, but following the passage of ownership (about a month ago, Vista Equity Partners took over the whole thing!) he’s likely just some salaried employee there. If Drupal’s ‘parent’ company has gone rogue, then people deserve to know about it. This company also provides services such as hosting to a lot of companies, including Red Hat (e.g. OpenSource.com). Will it spy on visitors and pass on the data? After the buyout it’s in hands that will likely pursue nothing but ‘monetisation’; it’s the surveillance business. “Acquia Lift,” the text said yesterday, “a key component of the solution and the only personalization tool optimized for Drupal, is now available as a no-code application to help marketers easily optimize customer experiences, the company said.”

This isn’t the first such move and it worries me more to see them going even further in this direction. What does the new owner of Acquia plan for Drupal itself? Myself and others who are vocal privacy proponents confronted Drupal’s founder over it, but it clearly didn’t end there. The company that they’re liaising with writes blog posts such as “How to Legally Spy on Your Website Visitors” and its “Privacy [sic] Policy” looks a lot like that of System1 'apps'.

And speaking of System1, the deeper we look, the more intrigued we become. It’s a massive company, but it is not well known. It probably prefers it that way.

We’ve meanwhile also asked (twice even): Does anyone know how much System1 owns of Startpage? Maybe all of it. Startpage won’t say! They’re totally hiding it!

“Why is it that spying companies pick up everything that’s left without harm and why is it that sales of this kind are allowed?”“Note that Startpage has refused to answer ownership questions and has not been completely transparent in some answers,” a reader told us. “Plus, its somewhat hidden blog post about the sale/investment was rather cagey and could lead people to believe System1 only bought a smidgen of Startpage via the Startpage Holding company. (Because new holding company directors took office in December 2018 who are associated with System1, it’s more likely System1 bought it out completely or bought a majority.) This does not necessarily mean Startpage/System1 is spying on people.”

“Do I trust new owner/investor System1 to champion privacy? No. Not at all. All you have to do is look at the products System1 pimps as privacy and security products. They talk a good game, but the privacy policies tell the story. Plus, System1 is one of the largest pay-per-click companies in the world. Would you trust a pay-per-click behavioral advertising company with your personal information? Hell no! Not without ongoing oversight.”

Why is it that spying companies pick up everything that’s left without harm and why is it that sales of this kind are allowed? Will money/greed corrupt everything?

11.09.19

Startpage Shows Sheer Hypocrisy After Selling Out and Betraying Privacy (Corrected)

Posted in Deception, Search at 2:51 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Startpage’s tweet of irony

Startpage's tweet irony

Summary: After more than half a decade of using and advocating Startpage I’ve come to realise it’s a spying operation and Startpage hopes nobody will notice

TECHRIGHTS is now older than 13 years; at no point did the site focus on privacy as a topic to cover, except in Daily Links (or sometimes the privacy violations at the European Patent Office (EPO)). But the more we cover it, the more people come forward with pointers, observations and analyses. So deeper we dive! Because a lot of companies out there turn out to have lied all along about their privacy stance. It’s just grotesque.

“I’m finding other privacy-focused companies are being sold/invested in by U.S. companies,” one reader told us, alluding to several recent articles of ours. “This points out why it is so important that we ask companies questions about their ownership and data processing. We cannot simply assume that our favorite privacy services remain unchanged…

“Another favorite of mine, Wire, was reportedly sold this summer — which is strangely curious for reasons I cannot say. I’m looking into it.”

“…the more we cover it, the more people come forward with pointers, observations and analyses.”And now Startpage has the audacity to (re)post the above from this article: “Why did this Chinese company purchase Grindr when they couldn’t expand it to China or get any Chinese benefit from it? Did they really expect to make money, or are they in this for the data?”

Didn’t Startpage do something similar? It went to bed with System1, which is an appalling employer (judging by online reviews by employees) that used to be called something close to what it does: “Brain Juicer.”

They rebranded/renamed to the somewhat generic “System1.”

One what? What system? How vague…

[Correction: A reader has pointed out that there’s “a TOTALLY SEPARATE COMPANY called System 1 Group PLC or something like that — formerly BrainJuicer. I don’t believe it’s related to the U.S. System1. System1 is terminology used in marketing, which is why many companies use the term and why there’s more than one similar name. Here’s more on “types of thinking” that most likely influenced the names of these behavioral ad companies. So System 1 thinking sways us emotionally — which is why so many companies, marketers, advertisers go for that. They don’t want us to think through things logically and take time because it might cause us to make more rational choices — and perhaps not spend $.”]

We believe they’re like a ‘lesser’ Cambridge Analytica and still investigate the matter. They’re selling data and — as we've noted yesterday — they pretend to be a privacy company. That’s the very opposite of what they are, so it’s a good decoy.

“We believe they’re like a ‘lesser’ Cambridge Analytica and still investigate the matter.”Also interesting, according to that above reader, is the way “that Startpage is asking about reasoning behind another company’s investment when it won’t answer questions about the System1 investment in Startpage.”

Indeed.

On goes the reader: “What’s really strange is how many people seemingly aren’t aware of the System1 purchase and the scandal over the mysterious “Privacy One Group Ltd.” I see people visiting the @startpagesearch Twitter feed — people I know who care about privacy and would never use Startpage if they knew Startpage wasn’t answering questions about how much was purchased by a pay-per-click company — retweeting as usual.”

The chief/founder of Startpage attempted to recover from our coverage; but all he had to offer was non-denying waffle; nowhere did he refute what we wrote.

11.08.19

System1 (Company Behind Startpage, Dogpile, WebCrawler, MetaCrawler and More) Calls Surveillance “Privacy”

Posted in Google, Microsoft, Search at 3:00 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: Surveillance seems to have become so fashionable that its purveyors and intermediaries (sending one’s data to Microsoft, Google and so on) have a sense of humour strong enough or sufficient to call that “privacy”

THE OTHER DAY we wrote about further suspicious things about Startpage, which had been grabbed by a mass surveillance company that also owns Dogpile, WebCrawler, MetaCrawler and maybe lots more. The whole thing triggered a nerve when they made up something called ‘Privacy One Group’ — Orwellian doublespeak or newspeak for sure. It’s part of a spying company, System1.

“It’s part of a spying company, System1.”But wait, it gets worse

“System1 has a “privacy” browser in the Google Play Store,” a reader told us. It’s called Hushbrowser. “See the linked app page there and the associated privacy policy. If that’s what System1 considers a privacy product…”

Hushbrowser privacyThe link to the privacy policy (of the ‘app’) leads to a broken page (screenshot to the right), but if one goes to the site one can find the full text, which is a year old.

Let’s look/consider how the “app” presents itself: “Hush Browser is a mobile web browser for Android that keeps you in control of your session data. With user-first privacy in mind, we set out to create a super lightweight, fast web browser that gives you an easy way to remove your data. Most browsers hide this deep within app settings accessible through confusing user flows, but we wanted to make this functionality front and center, both on-demand in the main menu and automatically every time you close the app.”

Now let’s look at the actual policy and annotate it with a yellow marker:

Privacy Policy

Last modified: May 15, 2018

System1 LLC respects your privacy and we are committed to protecting it through our compliance with this policy. This policy also applies to our subsidiaries Infospace Holdings LLC and Qool Media Holdings LLC.

Our services include our websites and applications that link to this privacy policy. This policy describes the types of information we may collect from you or that you may provide when you use our services and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting, and disclosing that information.

This policy applies to information we collect:

  • When you use or interact with our services.
  • In your email, text, and other electronic messages with us.
  • Through our mobile and desktop applications.

Please read this policy carefully to understand our policies and practices regarding your information and how we will treat it. If you do not agree with our policies and practices, your choice is not to use our services. By accessing or using our services, you agree to this privacy policy. This policy may change from time to time (see Changes to Our Privacy Policy). Your continued use of our services after we make changes is deemed to be acceptance of those changes, so please check the policy periodically for updates.

EU-US Privacy Shield and Swiss-US Privacy Shield

System1 LLC, and certain of its controlled US affiliates, Infospace Holdings LLC and Qool Media Holdings LLC, comply with the EU-US Privacy Shield Framework and the Swiss-US Privacy Shield Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of personal information from European Union member countries and Switzerland. System1 has certified that it adheres to the Privacy Shield Principles of Notice, Choice, Accountability for Onward Transfer, Security, Data Integrity and Purpose Limitation, Access, and Recourse, Enforcement and Liability. If there is any conflict between the policies in this privacy policy and the Privacy Shield Principles, the Privacy Shield Principles shall govern.

To learn more about the Privacy Shield program, and to view our certification page, please visit https://www.privacyshield.gov/

System1 is subject to the investigatory and enforcement powers of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Children Under the Age of 13

Our services are not intended for children under 13 years of age. No one under age 13 may provide any information to or through our services. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you are under 13, do not use or provide any information through our services. If we learn we have collected or received personal information from a child under 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information. If you believe we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please contact us at:

Attn: Privacy Officer

1501 Main Street

Suite 201

Venice, CA 90291

Contact System1

Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It

We collect several types of information from and about users of our services, including information:

  • by which you may be personally identified, such as name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, or any other identifier by which you may be contacted online or offline (“personal information“);
  • that is about you but individually does not identify you, such as your IP address, referral data, and browser and platform type; and/or
  • about your internet connection, the equipment you use to access our services and usage details.

We collect this information:

  • Directly from you when you provide it to us.
  • Automatically as you use our services. Information collected automatically may include usage details, IP addresses, and information collected through cookies, web beacons, and other tracking technologies.
  • From third parties, for example, our business partners.

Information You Provide to Us

The information we collect through our services may include:

  • Information that you provide by filling in forms through our services. This includes information provided at the time of registering to use our services, subscribing to our service, posting material, or requesting further services. We may also ask you for information when you report a problem with our services.
  • Records and copies of your correspondence (including email addresses), if you contact us.

Information We Collect Through Automatic Data Collection Technologies

As you use our services, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information about your equipment, browsing actions, and patterns, including:

  • Details of your use of our services, including traffic data, location data, logs, and other communication data and the resources that you use on our services.
  • Information about your computer and internet connection, including your IP address, operating system, and browser type.

We also may use these technologies to collect information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or other online services (behavioral tracking).

The information we collect automatically is statistical data and does not include personal information, but we may maintain it or associate it with personal information we collect in other ways or receive from third parties. It helps us to improve our services and to deliver a better and more personalized service.

The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include:

  • Cookies (or browser cookies). A cookie is a small file placed on the hard drive of your computer. You may refuse to accept browser cookies by activating the appropriate setting on your browser. However, if you select this setting you may be unable to access certain parts of our services. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you direct your browser to our services.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our services may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from, and on our services. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies.
  • Web Beacons. Portions of our services may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs, pixel tags, and single-pixel gifs) that allow us, for example, to count users who have visited pages and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).

We do not collect personal information automatically, but we may tie this information to personal information about you that we collect from other sources or you provide to us.

Third-Party Use of Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

Some content or applications, including advertisements, on our services are served by third-parties, including advertisers, ad networks and servers, content providers, and application providers. These third parties may use cookies alone or in conjunction with web beacons or other tracking technologies to collect information about you when you use our services. The information they collect may be associated with your personal information or they may collect information, including personal information, about your online activities over time and across different websites and other online services. They may use this information to provide you with interest-based (behavioral) advertising or other targeted content.

We do not control these third parties’ tracking technologies or how they may be used. If you have any questions about an advertisement or other targeted content, you should contact the responsible provider directly. For information about how you can opt out of receiving targeted advertising from many providers, see Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information.

How We Use Your Information

We use information that we collect about you or that you provide to us, including any personal information:

  • To present our services and its contents to you.
  • To provide you with information, products, or services that you request from us.
  • To fulfill any other purpose for which you provide it.
  • To provide you with notices about your account, including expiration and renewal notices.
  • To carry out our obligations and enforce our rights arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, including for billing and collection.
  • To notify you about changes to our services.
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features on our services.
  • In any other way we may describe when you provide the information.
  • For any other purpose with your consent.

We may use the information we have collected from you to enable us to display advertisements to our advertisers’ target audiences. Even though we do not disclose your personal information for these purposes without your consent, if you click on or otherwise interact with an advertisement, the advertiser may assume that you meet its target criteria.

Disclosure of Your Information

We may disclose aggregated information about our users, and information that does not identify any individual, without restriction.

We may disclose personal information that we collect or you provide as described in this privacy policy:

  • To our subsidiaries and affiliates.
  • To contractors, service providers, and other third parties we use to support our business.
  • To a buyer or other successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution, or other sale or transfer of some or all of our assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation, or similar proceeding, in which personal information held by us is among the assets transferred.
  • To fulfill the purpose for which you provide it.
  • For any other purpose disclosed by us when you provide the information.
  • With your consent.

We may also disclose your personal information:

  • To comply with any court order, law, or legal process, including to respond to any government or regulatory request.
  • If we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect our rights, property, or for our safety, and that of our customers, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.
  • Under certain circumstances, we may be required to disclose your personal information in response to valid requests by public authorities, including to meet national security or law enforcement requirements.
  • System1’s accountability for data it receives pursuant to the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield and subsequent transfer of that data to third parties is detailed in the Privacy Shield Principles. In cases of onward transfer to third parties of data of EU or Swiss individuals received pursuant to the EU-US or and Swiss-US Privacy Shield, System1 is potentially liable. In particular, System1 remains responsible and liable under the Privacy Shield Principles if third-party agents that it engages to process the personal data on its behalf do so in a manner inconsistent with the Principles, unless System1 proves that it is not responsible for the event giving rise to the damage.

Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information

We strive to provide you with choices regarding the personal information you provide to us. We have created mechanisms to provide you with the following control over your information:

  • You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this site may then be inaccessible or not function properly.
  • For some of our products, we use Google Analytics Advertising Features, including Remarketing with Google Analytics, Google Display Network Impression Reporting, DoubleClick Platform integrations, and Google Analytics Demographic and Interest Reporting. For information about Google Analytics currently available opt-outs, please click here.
  • Some of our products may include advertisements from Microsoft. To learn more about information collected by Microsoft, please click here. You can opt-out of Microsoft’s personalized advertising services by following the instructions found here.
  • We do not control third parties’ collection or use of your information to serve interest-based advertising. However, these third parties may provide you with ways to choose not to have your information collected or used in this way. You can also generally opt-out of receiving personalized ads from third party advertisers and ad networks who are members of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) or who follow the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising by visiting the opt-out pages on the NAI site and DAA site.
  • System1 acknowledges that EU and Swiss individuals have the right to access the personal information that we maintain about them. An EU or Swiss individuals who seeks access, or who seeks to correct, amend, or delete inaccurate data, should direct their query to here. If requested to remove data, we will respond within a reasonable timeframe.
  • We will also provide an EU or Swiss individuals with opt-out or opt-in choice before we share their data with third parties other than our agents, or before we use it for a purpose other than which it was originally collected or subsequently authorized.
  • To limit the use and disclosure of your personal information, please click here.

Accessing and Correcting Your Information

We desire to keep you in control of the personal information you provide to us. Accordingly, you can review, correct, change, or remove the personal registration information you provide to us and that we control. To choose not to receive future communications from us, please contact System1.

You may also send us an email here to request access to, correct, or delete any personal information that you have provided to us. We may not accommodate a request to change information if we believe the change would violate any law or legal requirement or cause the information to be incorrect.

Data Security

We have implemented measures designed to secure your personal information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration, and disclosure.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information transmitted to our services. Any transmission of personal information is at your own risk. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the services.

Dispute Resolutions

In compliance with the EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Principles, System1 commits to resolve complaints about your privacy and our collection or use of your personal information. European Union or Swiss individuals with inquiries or complaints regarding this privacy policy should first contact System1 here

System1 has further committed to refer unresolved privacy complaints under the Privacy Shield Principles to an independent dispute resolution mechanism, the BBB EU PRIVACY SHIELD, operated by the Council of Better Business Bureaus. If you do not receive timely acknowledgment of your complaint, or if your complaint is not satisfactorily addressed, please visit http://www.bbb.org/EU-privacy-shield/for-eu-consumers for more information and to file a complaint.

Under certain conditions, more fully described on the Privacy Shield website https://www.privacyshield.gov/article?id=How-to-Submit-a-Complaint, you may invoke binding arbitration when other dispute resolutions procedures have been exhausted.

Changes To Our Privacy Policy

It is our policy to post any changes we make to our privacy policy on this page. If we make material changes to how we treat our users’ personal information, we will let you know through a notice in our services. The date the privacy policy was last revised is found at the top of the page. You are responsible for ensuring we have an up-to-date active and deliverable email address for you, and for periodically visiting this privacy policy to check for any changes.

Contact Information

To ask questions or comment about this privacy policy and our privacy practices, contact us at:

Attn: Privacy Officer

1501 Main Street

Suite 201

Venice, CA 90291

Contact System1

Looking at the above, one must wonder if the broken link isn’t an accident but intentional. Just to satisfy the requirements of listing this bogus ‘privacy’ ‘app’ in Google Play. Maybe better call it piracy ‘app’ because it steals all your data.

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