Use This EU-Funded Open Source Service to Protect Your Privacy on Social Networks

The cat is out of the bag, if you weren’t already, you should be very concerned about your privacy on the net, especially when it comes to social networks. If you’re not quite ready to delete your Facebook account altogether, a step that might not actually make you any safer, there are ways to better limit how you allow Facebook to gather and use your data. Plus you can setup good practices for Linkedin, Twitter and Google while you’re at it.

An open source service called PlusPrivacy helps with a one-stop solution, a dashboard where you can manage all your privacy settings from Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, etc. There is even a “single-click privacy” button which sets the settings for all the social networks to their most privacy-friendly values.

Additionally, there is a separate dashboard for web apps and browsers extension which lets you keep an eye on how much access different apps have to your information. Remember, if you use Facebook or Twitter to sign into another website, mobile phone app or service, they are collecting information about you.

You can even hide your email when registering for web services by using the alternative email identities service on PlusPrivacy which allows up to 20 email aliases.


The current version of PlusPrivacy includes the following services for consumers:

• Unified social networks privacy dashboard – allows you to choose the privacy settings for all your social networks from a single dashboard. There is also a “single-click privacy” button that automatically sets the privacy settings of all your SN accounts to their most privacy-friendly values. Currently Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are supported, with more SNs to be supported in the future.

• Unified extensions and apps dashboard – allows you to review the extent to which each of the Chrome extensions and web apps connected to your Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts infringes on your privacy, and to take single-click disable/uninstall actions for such extensions/apps, without digging into the account settings of Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Chrome.

• Alternative email identities service – allows you to generate and use up to 20 alternative email identitie in conjunction with your regular email service. Emails sent to your alternative identities will be automatically remailed to your email address, and you reply will be remailed back to the original sender, without disclosing your real email address.

• Ad blocking and anti-tracking – largely based on AdBlock Plus code, without the “Acceptable Ads”. All ads and trackers are blocked until explicitly whitelisted by the user.

• Privacy-for-Benefit – still under development. See the business model section below.


The PlusPrivacy service (also called “+P”) is free and will remain free for consumers. Currently the service is operated by the members of the OPERANDO consortium under EU funding. In the future, additional privacy-for-benefit services will be developed (that 3rd party +P operators will be able to deploy freely based on our open source). The Privacy-for-Benefit services will create business models based on consent of consumers to partially trade their private data for economic benefits from the participating online service providers. Under no circumstances will +P provide to 3rd parties any data of its users except based on their explicit opt-in.





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