Update [Mullvad] "We are removing the option to create new subscriptions"

Slerion

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Feb 24, 2016
185

Thats a Huge step i would say not only for privacy but its also a risk for mullvad because many people will be too lazy to run without a sub.

but overall good to see a VPN actively trying to reduce saved data.

In order to store less data we will no longer accept NEW PayPal and Credit card subscriptions (recurring payments). One-time payments are not affected.

Payment records and privacy​

At Mullvad VPN we strive to know as little as possible about our users. We are constantly looking for ways to reduce the amount of data we store while still providing a usable service. Nowhere is the tension between privacy and usability more apparent than in the area of payments.

In order to provide refunds and the ability to recover lost accounts we need to store some record of a payment, at least for a short time. As soon as we do not need the data to enable refunding a payment we scrub the record of anything that can link the payment or the account to any personally identifiable information kept by the payment processor (this could be your bank, for example).

The problem, when it comes to subscriptions, or recurring payments, is that this link needs to be preserved for the duration of the subscription. In other words, a subscription lasting 12 months will force us to keep the link for all 12 months while a one-time payment for the same amount of time would only require us to keep it for the first few weeks.

Our decision to remove subscriptions​

Subscriptions clearly offer a lot of convenience but as we’ve seen that convenience comes at a cost and we no longer think this is an acceptable trade-off. We care deeply about usability but when it comes down to it, privacy has to win.

That is why, as of today, we will no longer accept any new credit card or PayPal subscriptions. All existing subscriptions will keep working as normal for at least 6 months but if they are canceled or expire they cannot be renewed. If you have an active subscription we encourage you to cancel it within the next 6 months and replace it with a one-time payment to avoid any unexpected disruptions. All payments use the same flat pricing model. We will keep you informed of what happens next.

In summary​

  • we are removing the ability to create new subscriptions on all accounts
  • existing subscriptions will be processed for at least 6 months
  • one-time payments are not affected
  • we are doing this to store less data about our users
For your right to privacy,
Mullvad VPN
 
Last edited:

silversurfer

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Aug 17, 2014
7,661

Closing Words​

The decision to drop recurring payments for new and (eventually) existing customers will certainly impact revenue. It is a bold decision, one that reduces the amount of data that Mullvad stores on its servers.

Mullvad customers did have the option to make one-time payments to the service already. Nothing changes for those users. Users who subscribed to Mullvad will have to make one-time payments to continue using the service. While they may use it for at least 6 months without changing anything, Mullvad will drop the option eventually.