While the cybersecurity software market is expected to grow by more than $100 billion by 2026, (opens in new tab)a digital privacy company just dumped paid subscriptions for everyone.
The famed provider behind one of the best ad blockers out there, Ghostery has turned to a contributor program instead. This helps keep the software running, while allowing users to actively do their part to improve the tool.
Despite Ghostery always coming with a free plan, it charged a monthly or annual fee for additional advanced features. Now users can use their expertise or simply their commitment to defending online privacy as a bargaining chip.
Today we launch the contribution program. The rollout brings our core privacy tools to a wider audience so they’re always free, and creates a direct line of collaboration with our talented community. Read how you can contribute here: https://t.co/TawipVlstINov 3, 2022
Better privacy, free
“Ghostery started with a community of people determined to put the power of the internet back in the hands of the public,” said company CEO Jean-Paul Schmetz. “Since then, we’ve grown that small community into millions of users, helping us all fight for a future where Online privacy is a fundamental human right.”
You can use your coding expertise to improve software infrastructure, for example – Ghostery products are indeed all open source, available on Github for anyone to review. You can even flag new online trackers to add to the massive WhoTracks.Me database (opens in new tab).
If you’re not a programmer, you can just be an attentive user who regularly reports bugs or broken web pages to the provider’s customer service. Or be really committed to the cause – sharing Ghostery content on social media is enough to get access to the full privacy suite for free.
However, those who wish can still contribute with monetary donations. There are two plans to choose from, starting at $3.99 and $8.99 per month respectively.
A contribution-free account is also still available. This includes the adblocker and anonymous browser with built-in private search engine. However, by supporting the provider, you can unlock some advanced features to better manage the data you share online.
Ghostery’s product director, Krzysztof Modras, explains such a decision, saying that users’ expertise is invaluable for improving their products in a market where “tech monopolies continue to find new ways to collect and exploit user data.”
As Schmetz affirms, true collaboration with users will always be at the heart of Ghostery’s core mission: to build a user-centric internet.
He said: “The Contribution Program represents our continued commitment to this vision, expanding access to essential privacy tools at a time when consumer data is more vulnerable than ever before.”