When we started up Tonido, our goal was to provide a compelling alternative to public online services. We figured that a few companies controlling everyone’s information is not good for a equitable society. After 4 years, if we look at the current status of the Internet, all of our worst fears have come true. There is zero privacy and zero anonymity. The web is not open and the ecosystem is controlled by a few companies. One needs to set the expectation that everything that happens on the public internet gets tracked, aggregated, diced, profiled and sold to the highest bidder. Don’t do anything on the internet that you will not do in a public place. People’s memories fade, but the Internet never forgets.
The music you access, the emails you send, the photos you share, the comments you post and pretty much anything you put on public online services serve as one more data point to create your online persona . With a few clicks anybody can buy that data for a cost.
As always, the individual liberty and protection of privacy is the responsibility of users. Nobody is going to do that for you. If you have young kids or newborns many of them will outlive the current set of hot internet companies. But, by the time your kids become adults, the data that you entrust with these companies can change many hands and come back to haunt them in many ways. Even if the current management is benevolent (‘do no evil’) there is no guarantee that the future management will be benevolent. Hard times and bad economies can change the way companies will treat your personal data.
With your permission, you give us more information about you, about your friends, and we can improve the quality of our searches. We don’t need you to type at all. We know where you are. We know where you’ve been. We can more or less know what you’re thinking about – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google
This quote pretty much summarizes the power that we voluntarily give out to internet companies. The new internet monopolies are not much different from the 19th century robber barons. The railroad magnates used their control over rail road distribution to create monopolies. In similar ways, the large internet firms use network effects, control over personal data and monopolies over desktop and mobile Operating Systems to serve their profit goals. It is not illegal. It is business as usual. But as users we need to think twice about the information we freely offer. What kind of control are we forsaking?
Many of the popular internet companies (Google, Facebook and others) enforce real name policy, thereby ensuring they are able to identify track and aggregate you and your data anytime you use their services. We are not advocating that you should not use their services. But do expect that anything you do and share on these services is up for sale. The “I have nothing to hide” argument is not really valid here. The data you put or share in these services can have profound practical implications in your job search, getting insurance or getting a financial loan. It is not really about hiding stuff any more. The basics of life are at stake here.
Smart people now understand this predicament and indiscriminate sharing on social networks is changing slowly. If you want to have real control over your personal data then you need to have complete control over the system.
Tonido provides such a system. If you want to share your kids photos or share your thoughts with family and friends without any fear, Tonido can do that for you. Using Tonido, you can create this private, safe space that runs on your device behind your home router. You will have 100% control over this private little space.
Here are the 10 things that Tonido can do to safeguard ownership, privacy and anonymity
- No Real Name Policy – Unlike Facebook or Google, we don’t require a real name to create Tonido account. You can choose any name.
- Completely Independent – To facilitate ease of use, we provide dynamic dns and relay server capabilities to access your Tonido device from anywhere. You are free to use our dynamic DNS and relay servers or your own. Here are the instructions.
- Complete Control – Turn it On or Turn it Off any time.
- Private and anonymous shares- Tonido allows you to create private and anonymous file shares
- Ephemeral Shares – Tonido allows you to create time limited, ephemeral file shares that you can use to share content with friends and family
- Guest user support – Create user accounts for your family members and friends in your own Personal Cloud
- Works without internet – The application and data is always local. You can access your Tonido device from your home network even if there is no internet
- Password Security – We store only your user name. We don’t store your passwords in our system. It will give you completely secure access to your data. Any centralized hack will not compromise your data.
- Cross Platform and works on any device – Tonido is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux. You don’t need expensive hardware to run Tonido – Any old computer will do.
- Powerful Alternative to Online Services –Out of the Box, Tonido can replace Google Drive, Dropbox, Picassa, Flickr, Facebook and Spotify (If you own your music). It is extremely simple to use and comes with native mobile apps for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone and Blackberry.
In a nutshell, Tonido allows one to access, share, sync and organize personal data from anywhere without losing control over the personal data.
We are committed in our vision to make Tonido the #1 Personal Cloud that safeguards privacy and online freedom. We are happy that our years of effort creating Tonido is making the world a better place. We don’t have billions of Tonido users. But we make a positive difference in the lives of the million or so users that currently take advantage of our systems. An active Tonido user puts order of magnitude less data in the popular online services than an average internet user. Every user that Tonido attracts is one less user for a Public cloud service. That is good enough for us.