What is data incognito mode on a Brainsy powered site?

Brian P. Christie
January 24,
Brian P. Christie  replied:

Thanks for inquiring about this optional, yet important, feature on the Brainsy platform. Although we expect it to evolve, here’s our current definition:  

Data Incognito mode is an innovative approach to give consumers maximum control and transparency over the use of their data and the option to be free from algorithms, targeting, and analytics when participating on social media (powered by Brainsy). Data types include volunteered data, data collected or provided by third parties, and the consumer’s behavioral data. 

Have you ever gone into the privacy controls of your social media account by another provider (eg. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and tried to throttle back how they use your data? It’s typically pretty complicated and you’re only given very coarse controls over what data they can use, or how they use it. It’s also opaque in terms of all the data they collect on you and how they get it. It has been reported that Facebook collects up to 52,000 data points on their users. How many do you know about? Probably very little beyond a handful of obvious ones.      

Many browsers now offer a form of incognito mode to limit the collection of cookies on the user. Data Incognito mode extends this general concept but is also very different. In the same way that e-commerce companies made shopping easier by promoting “1-click” purchasing, we’re giving the consumer an option to flip a single switch on their account for Data Incognito mode so that ALL data (except required transactional data) is put in a vault and not used by our systems. It’s not that you are anonymous or that we don’t have it, it’s that we won’t use it. It’s our promise that any and all data associated with your account will not be used for analytical purposes, to serve content (including advertising) or to target you in any other way. 

Data Incognito mode also provides other important benefits:  

First, you’ll have granular visibility into each data element that we capture. To improve your user experience, you can permit us to use a particular data element. For example, if you want to get notified when people you follow are posting to the platform in real time, you might permit us to use a “Those I Follow” data element (or however it might be named). If you decide later to revoke that permission, you can easily do so and you’ll have an auditable trail of all the data elements you’ve permitted us to use (or not).  

Second, even when you permit us to use a particular data element, you’ll still have the ability to disable any algorithms that use it. We catalog all the algorithms that act on that data and do our best to explain what each algorithm is intended to do. You have the ability to easily turn off that single algorithm.   

There’s a caveat however, Data Incognito mode needs to be enabled at the site level by the client of a Brainsy powered platform. We provide clients with highly customized and configured features on their Brainsy powered site and some may not want to enable this feature. If you’re using a Brainsy powered site and don’t have access to Data Incognito mode, that’s an issue between you and whomever operates that Brainsy site. It’s a business decision whether or not to enable this feature.  

Why were we compelled to launch this new set of features? If you look at the large dominant social media platforms today, there’s a realization and consensus emerging that they are more harmful to society than the benefits they provide. These algorithmically based platforms are driven by a click-for-profit business model and they divide, polarize, incite, and addict. There is a better way. And we want to show, by doing, a feasible path to creating a pro-consumer and privacy-respectful experience on (branded) social media. We welcome you to register on a Brainsy powered site and to join us on the journey.    

#dataincognito 
 

2   
Brian P. Christie
January 24,
Brian P. Christie  replied:

Thanks for inquiring about this optional, yet important, feature on the Brainsy platform. Although we expect it to evolve, here’s our current definition:  

Data Incognito mode is an innovative approach to give consumers maximum control and transparency over the use of their data and the option to be free from algorithms, targeting, and analytics when participating on social media (powered by Brainsy). Data types include volunteered data, data collected or provided by third parties, and the consumer’s behavioral data. 

Have you ever gone into the privacy controls of your social media account by another provider (eg. Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter) and tried to throttle back how they use your data? It’s typically pretty complicated and you’re only given very coarse controls over what data they can use, or how they use it. It’s also opaque in terms of all the data they collect on you and how they get it. It has been reported that Facebook collects up to 52,000 data points on their users. How many do you know about? Probably very little beyond a handful of obvious ones.      

Many browsers now offer a form of incognito mode to limit the collection of cookies on the user. Data Incognito mode extends this general concept but is also very different. In the same way that e-commerce companies made shopping easier by promoting “1-click” purchasing, we’re giving the consumer an option to flip a single switch on their account for Data Incognito mode so that ALL data (except required transactional data) is put in a vault and not used by our systems. It’s not that you are anonymous or that we don’t have it, it’s that we won’t use it. It’s our promise that any and all data associated with your account will not be used for analytical purposes, to serve content (including advertising) or to target you in any other way. 

Data Incognito mode also provides other important benefits:  

First, you’ll have granular visibility into each data element that we capture. To improve your user experience, you can permit us to use a particular data element. For example, if you want to get notified when people you follow are posting to the platform in real time, you might permit us to use a “Those I Follow” data element (or however it might be named). If you decide later to revoke that permission, you can easily do so and you’ll have an auditable trail of all the data elements you’ve permitted us to use (or not).  

Second, even when you permit us to use a particular data element, you’ll still have the ability to disable any algorithms that use it. We catalog all the algorithms that act on that data and do our best to explain what each algorithm is intended to do. You have the ability to easily turn off that single algorithm.   

There’s a caveat however, Data Incognito mode needs to be enabled at the site level by the client of a Brainsy powered platform. We provide clients with highly customized and configured features on their Brainsy powered site and some may not want to enable this feature. If you’re using a Brainsy powered site and don’t have access to Data Incognito mode, that’s an issue between you and whomever operates that Brainsy site. It’s a business decision whether or not to enable this feature.  

Why were we compelled to launch this new set of features? If you look at the large dominant social media platforms today, there’s a realization and consensus emerging that they are more harmful to society than the benefits they provide. These algorithmically based platforms are driven by a click-for-profit business model and they divide, polarize, incite, and addict. There is a better way. And we want to show, by doing, a feasible path to creating a pro-consumer and privacy-respectful experience on (branded) social media. We welcome you to register on a Brainsy powered site and to join us on the journey.    

#dataincognito 
 

2