Privacy is a right. This is a fact in many states, and it’s one of our fervent beliefs at Consumer Reports. But that doesn’t mean privacy is easy. Anyone who’s tried to make their digital life more private knows how much effort it requires. We create data in nearly every interaction we have with companies. Keeping track and chasing after this data can feel convoluted, frustrating, even futile.
The right to privacy is only real if you can use it. So today, we’re announcing a new, experimental service by Consumer Reports to help you do privacy better. Enter: Permission Slip.
Permission Slip is a mobile app that makes it easy to take control of your personal data. The app shows you what kinds of data companies collect, and lets you decide what to do. With a tap, you can tell a company to stop selling your data or to delete your data entirely. Permission Slip is free to use and available on iOS, with an Android version expected next year.
This app exists because you helped us fight for a right to privacy, first in California then in more states with time. You helped us test new privacy laws and told us the challenges you had using them. You trusted us to begin doing the work for you, acting as your agent and representing your data interests to companies. Many of you tested Permission Slip in beta and shared your frank reactions, ways we could improve. We’re grateful to our members and the friends of the Lab whose attention enabled the birth of this service.
We’re proud to make Permission Slip publicly available on iOS, and know there’s much more work to do for this app to realize its potential. If you care about protecting your personal information, download Permission Slip (or sign up for our Android wait list). We want to hear what’s working, what you think we missed, and any wishes you have for Permission Slip’s future. Your voice can help keep privacy within reach.
While many hands made Permission Slip, the author would like to specially acknowledge Don Marti, Maggie Oates, and Ann Marie Carrothers whose vision and hustle helped power this first version of Permission Slip into being.