Lockdown's mission is to make apps do exactly what they say they do, and nothing else.
Before making Lockdown, we made other apps that were fairly popular in the App Store, so we were frequently approached by companies for potential partnerships.
One day we received an interesting proposal that sounded too good to be true: "You could make $X,000 a month by doing nothing," they wrote, "just add this little piece of code and we'll handle the rest."
We were curious and had to find out more. We learned that the company that approached us was a data-mining company, and the "little piece of code" would secretly report a user's location, IP address, and usage patterns to their servers. They would then sell that user data to another third party, which could have been literally anyone: advertising firms, marketing companies, hostile state actors — who knows? Basically, they were asking us to secretly sell out our users.
We politely declined their offer, and instead did more research to discover that there were many, many data-mining companies cropping up to do exactly the same thing as them. We rejected their money, but what about other companies? It turns out, a lot of companies took the money — many top downloaded apps were were selling their users' data.
So we did what we felt was the right thing, and really the only thing we could do as engineers: we built an app to fight back against the tracking. Since the tracking was happening in apps and not just the browser, normal adblockers wouldn't block them. Our solution was Lockdown, which blocks tracking, ads, and badware in all apps, not just the browser. Fast forward to today, over 100,000 people have used Lockdown to block over a billion tracking attempts — and we're just getting started.
Why Lockdown Is Superior
Lockdown is open source. This means that anyone can see exactly what it's doing, and more importantly what it's *not* doing. All the major security and privacy products (even "name brand" security products, and especially products that you see a bunch of ads for) are closed source, which means what they're doing is totally secret. As a result, they're able to secretly sell your data to the highest bidder. With closed source products, you could end up paying for a security product that annihilates your privacy, and there's no way for them to prove otherwise. Here's just a few examples:
Unlike many major privacy product companies, Lockdown does not use invasive ad tracking.
Have you ever seen an ad for a "name brand" security product? Isn't it ironic that so-called "privacy" products are spending big bucks on invasive tracking/advertisement networks that they're supposed to be protecting users from? What does this say about their true values?
Lockdown does not buy Facebook ads, or tracking ads of any kind, because we understand that that's the privacy-invading system we're trying to dismantle. We rely mostly on word of mouth, the quality of our product, and unsponsored journalism to spread our product to users. Note that for many so-called product "reviews" out there (even for well-known places like PC Magazine), they're actually using sponsored links in order to make money off of their reviews - distorting their incentive to tell the truth. Lockdown never does this.
We created the Openly Operated transparency standard because we saw that companies were basically outright lying in their Privacy Policies. Of course, many companies are closed source or headquartered offshore, so they're usually not caught. However, even with companies that were actually caught, there would rarely be any kind of penalties. Openly Operated is a way to force companies to provide *proof* of their transparency, rather than just asserting them. You can read about why we launched Openly Operated here, and you can see Lockdown's full transparency report here.
We're Hiring Engineers!
We have really, really exciting products in the pipeline — remote work is welcome.
Send a short blurb about yourself to email@example.com.