- Aug 17, 2017
VPN services have increasingly become an essential tool for securing your online privacy during everyday browsing. Short for virtual private network, it's a versatile software that spoofs your IP address and encrypts the data leaving a device. However, the level of protection offered differs significantly from provider to provider. That's why researchers at PrivacyTutor examined 144 services to understand how serious these companies actually are about the privacy of their users. The findings paint a pretty grim picture across the industry considering that, among other things, over two-thirds of the providers analyzed currently violate GDPR provisions.
"If VPN providers use cookie-based tracking and web analysis services such as Google Analytics, this is only permitted with prior express and voluntary user consent according to Section 25 (1) TTDSG," attorney Phil Salewski of IT-Recht Kanzlei Munich told the researchers. "In case the consent is not obtained before or not given voluntarily, there is a violation of applicable data protection law." Even worse, in our view, individuals ready to make a purchase to improve their privacy online were actually achieving the opposite and were tricked into thinking they would be safe from snooping.