Surf And Shop With Full Privacy - Your Personal Data Is Kept Offline!
= interesting, promising
Oklahoma-based Isolated Data Systems (Isodata) has introduced the world's first "offline" Internet shopping solution, designed to make the identification, tracking and "profile-building" of Internet shoppers and surfers virtually impossible.
Patented by Isodata, John Doe acts as an anonymizing anonymous proxy server as users surf and shop, making them appear simply as a "John Doe" to any website, advertiser or hacker, and traceable only back to Isodata. Any purchases are transacted by Isodata on behalf of the anonymous users, without any information about them ever going online; all customer information resides in secure storage at Isodata, unconnected to the Internet.
"No matter what companies say, the only way to know for sure that nobody knows who you are, where you're going or what services you're buying is not to put the information on the Internet in the first place," said Dan Mackey, CEO of Isodata, and a trained philosopher and quantum physics buff. "Hackers are always only one step behind conventional security and privacy solutions."
Isodata has sought to eliminate every weak link that could be exploited to gather data about the online user. Even when customers sign up for John Doe, they supply their credit card and other personal information to Isodata on paper via U.S. mail, or by fax, instead of the Internet. From there, it goes into secure storage at Isodata, on a server with no Internet connections. All Isodata employees are fully bonded and insured for up to ten million dollars to give customers total protection against internal misuse of information.
Besides providing ironclad privacy, John Doe also eliminates other problems for Internet shoppers. For example, it allows them to block advertising and scripts, thereby increasing download speeds. It also means users don't have to fill out long, complicated forms and answer personal questions with each purchase. When they find a product or service they want to purchase, users simply click a button to send the ordering information to IDS, whose processors do the buying on behalf of the customer, then recharge the cost to the customer's credit card. Since Isodata is the purchaser, the vendor can access no information whatsoever about the "real" customer.
Any products that need shipping can be sent to the Isodata address, then relabeled and forwarded to the customer's real address by Isodata, so the vendor never knows the actual address of the purchaser. To the user, surfing is exactly the same as before, except that they are completely anonymous while online - identifiable only as a "John Doe", with no traceable IP address or any other information that could be used to build a profile.
John Doe's introductory pricing plan allows new users to sign up for a 3-month trial for only $28.50 and get an extra 30 days free. In addition, there is a modest 3% service fee on all purchases and subscriptions. If the user wants impenetrable privacy and security by using the relabeling and reshipping service, there is a fee of $5.00 and up depending upon options selected and package size.
"There are all sorts of encryption and privacy solutions out there already, but they're not totally secure," Mackey explained. "Any computer with customer information on it can be hacked one way or another if it's connected to the Internet and transmitting the customer information over it."
"While we expect most of Isodata's business to initially come from people who don't want anyone to know what they're buying or looking at on the Net, there's a much broader market of people who simply hate the idea of their credit card and other personal information being "out there" somewhere," said John Rizzuti, an Isodata marketing partner. "John Doe is the first to give them the comfort of knowing it never goes online."
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