Frequently asked questions
Privly.org is a (incorporation pending) non-profit dedicated to enabling privacy in software. It establishes standards for private interoperability and services, beginning with the Privly standard. It also licenses the development of the Privly source code.
Privly is simple. It was designed from the very beginning to be as transparent as possible for the end user.
It requires you to install a browser extension (once). You need to log in to Privly (the first time you use it that day). Then, whenever you are ready to post something to your favorite site, you type it as normal, right click and select Post to Privly. Your content is instantly transofrmed into your Privly link. Just hit enter or click post and your content is shared - Priv(ate)ly.
When viewing Privly content that someone else shared, if you have the browser extension installed and you are logged in, you see the post in your browser with no other actions required.
Privly offers a way for you to maintain control of your data on the social web.
Your content should remain your content. At least at Privly, we think so. However, services like Facebook, Google, Twitter and the like, don’t seem to agree. Every time you accept their Terms of Service agreements, you give them the right to do whatever they wish with your data. More often than not, that involves selling your privacy.
Privly makes it impossible for others to control your data. By simply installing our browser extension, you are able to keep your content, well, your content. For those who don’t have the extension installed, they see a simple link that sends them to your post, photo, video, etc. For those who do have the extension installed, they are able to see your post on the page as it was intended. That’s because the extension pulls the data from the other side of the link into your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc, seamlessly, without supplying that data to data miners. Meaning your content stays, your content.
Currently we are in development mode and pre-alpha testing. If you'd like to help with our efforts, you can make a donation to help cover our costs or join the team to assist with getting Privly ready for prime time.
If you want to see a demo, and get more information on how it works, check out these tuturial videos on https://priv.ly/:
- How to use Privly
- The KickStarter pitch
- The Roadmap Tour
- The Encryption Tour
Find more instructions here: http://www.privly.org/content/how-get-started
Invitiations to the closed alpha testing and closed beta testing phases were included as part of the Kickstarter project. If you'd like to be notified if any additional opportunities to participate in either testing phase, please join our google group: https://groups.google.com/forum/?fromgroups#!forum/privly
Privly must be a community supported project, and without your help, we will not make it. If someone does not solve the privacy and content ownership problem, then we are left with the status quo, which is unacceptable.
Privly will reach an open Beta when it has a stable extension for 80 percent of the market, and server capacity to meet projected demand. We will not get there without help, so please consider joining the team. We also want to know if you would use the system, so please sign up for an invitation if you want to keep us coding.
Privly does not want to be another social network. Diaspora is a solid foundation for secure sharing, but you can't share Diaspora content securely everywhere. We can change that by injecting link content into secure page elements. We want to reduce Diaspora, and all social networks to their core offering: a social graph. They do not need your content, they need a reference to your content.
Privly's goal is to set a new standard, whereby only the content creators and their designees have access to the cleartext. Privly, Diaspora, Facebook, Google, Twitter, et al. never need access.
In all test cases to date, Privly content has not affected page layout adversely. We can use sites in ways other than they were intended, like embedding a chat room in a Twitter feed, or putting a Wiki in an article's comment, but it does not change the layout or design of the host site. We hope the system will gain wider acceptance, and sites will be able to specify how injected content should be displayed. The core functionality of the Privly system can be used without a browser extension, if the host site runs our script.
For the time being, content must be served from Privly servers. Before we open up an API for other content servers, we need to secure the extensions and provide a mechanism for whitelisting content hosts. Privly extensions need to prevent phishing, scripting attacks, and the tracking of our readers. You can help us get to an API by joining the team.
(this one is a little technical) Privly's server load is potentially as high as Twitter's, and they have millions of dollars in funding. Since we are taking our idea to the people, rather than the venture capitalists, we will distribute the load to our users by allowing them to run their own Privly content servers.
Content hosted by third party servers will not be included on a white list for automatic page inclusion unless the end user adds them to their personal white list. Third party commercial interests can gain various levels of automatic-inclusion permissions by paying for an audit of their security and privacy. This is similar to the way Mozilla generates revenue from their preferred search providers, but we will not allow tracking.
We are also looking into ways of distributing encrypted content with peer-to-peer technology in a way that will not sacrifice browsing anonymity. Privly will also offer paid premium services where the services carry a financial burden for Privly.
Basically, Privly will make money where it has expenses. We will work off of donations as long as possible.
Privly is and will always be open source. Your code will attempt to reshape the way the "link economy" functions, and just like the web, no one owns it. Code for Privly if you are passionate about taking back your content, using the web in new ways, or need an easier way to share information securely.
We see Privly as a protocol, not a content network. We will build out the standard functionality and libraries so you can bring the system to whatever platform you work with. We also want to develop the concept into an information security application, and you should distrust any "secure" platform that will not let you audit and improve their source code.