Privacy app Jumbo has launched an update to its service which allows users to take control over their Instagram and LinkedIn accounts.
Jumbo, which launched in 2019, allows users sign in with their social accounts for apps including Facebook, Google, Amazon, and Twitter.
The app then changes your privacy settings automatically, letting users bypass the sometimes-confusing menu screens.
Such issues have plagued technology companies for years. Google is currently being sued by the state of Arizona for its complex location settings, while Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal is now infamous.
While users need to log in via their social media accounts, this does not give Jumbo actual access to content posted on those sites. All of the processing is coming from the device itself, which means Jumbo does not have access to your data.
Jumbo’s first subscription tier, Jumbo Plus, is designed for more casual users, CEO Pierre Valade told The Independent.
This tier gives people control over Instagram, Amazon’s Alexa and, eventually, Facebook’s Messenger app.
It will also eventually allow users to mass-delete their Twitter ‘likes’, and control their Reddit history.
Users can archive old posts quickly and effectively, while also controlling who can or cannot see and share your content.
The second tier is Jumbo Pro, which protects LinkedIn accounts by stopping the app knowing when you’re active and informing other users, when people can use LinkedIn to find your phone number, and when your data is shared with third parties for “research purposes”.
This tier is designed for those “with more at stake on the internet,” Valade says, with features that also monitor the darkweb for personal data.
As well as these updates, Jumbo is also introducing better breach monitoring to check if your personal information is revealed, a redesigned Home tab, and the ability to block 400 major Ad Ttackers from gathering data about you.
More updates will be coming in the future, such as integrating American insurance information into the app for Pro users, but these will be brought out incrementally.
The company is hoping that these new features will encourage users to sign up. Recently, the app received an investment of $8M to “work towards our goal of being a profitable company.”
Currently, Jumbo has approximately 80,000 free users, but would require 100,000 paying Jumbo customers to build a sustainable business according to the company’s blog post.
Gaining such an audience will be a challenge; because Jumbo is designed to operate in the background, rather than being constantly on your screen like social media apps, it can be difficult to convince users to invest.
While Valade says that the company is “still working on the marketing strategy,” he says that he is confident the aim can be met, comparing Jumbo to other privacy-focused digital products such as password managers, VPNs, Signal, and the DuckDuckGo search engine which are becoming popular.
Signal, an encrypted chatting app, has seen a recent growth in users following the Black Lives Matter protests in the UK and US. It recently released a feature to blur faces in photographs.
However, the company is willing to make adjustments for its user base. “We need to validate with our customers. If they’re happy with it, then we keep going. If not, we change the price or the features,” Valade says.
“When users sign up for Jumbo Pro, do they stay on? Are we delivering the right value? And are the foundations solid?” he continues.
The company’s subscription tiers already exist on a spectrum; users can pay “what [they] think is fair” for a Plus subscription, between £2.99 per month and £7.99 per month.
Similarly, the Pro subscription costs between £8.99 per month and £14.49 per month.
Of course, Jumbo does not address the underlying problem of the app’s existence: that the digital world is full of contracts that users cannot or do not read.
If users trust Jumbo to make the decisions on their behalf, that is a reputational difference between itself and, for example, Facebook, rather than a legal one.
Valade accepts this, saying that he does not think Jumbo “solves all the problems online, and we’re not going to bullshit our users into that.”
“People aren’t going to switch behaviours in one day, but we’ll protect you with the products you use. Can you use Google without it having your location? Can you use Twitter without having my tweets be there forever? Am I completely protected? No, but it’s a long journey to help you get back more control,” he continued.
Such tasks are difficult. Jumbo is currently working on a project to allow users to delete data on any service as part of their rights as a citizen.
The company is apparently receiving pushback from the platforms, but it “means that we should keep trying” and is a “step in the right decision.”
“When we have one hundred thousand users, when we have one million users, we have leverage” Valade says.
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