FAQs

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Business

 

Traditional model
(Google, Facebook, etc.)

BitsaboutMe

Business model: selling user data, the user is the product. Business model: service provider, enabling users to monetize their own data for a commission.
Privacy as after-thought Privacy by Design
Users give away the rights on their data by signing the user agreement. All data always belongs to the user. BitsaboutMe cannot touch, see or sell the data.
Data is stored unencrypted in order to data mine and monetize it. All data is encrypted, only the user has the key to decrypt it.
Data is used to build user profiles which are then sold to advertisers. Only users initiate analysis on their data. User profiles are curated by users and only shared by them.
Little control over data, extracting and deleting data is made cumbersome. Full control at all times, straight forward extraction and deletion.
Data controllers bag all revenues from data sharing/selling. Users earn revenues from sharing their data, BitsaboutMe gets a commission for the sale.

The Personal Data Marketplace (PDM) is completely separated from your individual PDS and connected via our Consent Management System (CSMS). The PDM is the online marketplace where your data is put to work.

If you decide to share your personal data profile under clearly defined conditions, then this data profile will be uploaded from your PDS to the PDM. In the PDM the data is anonymized and decrypted – otherwise it is unusable. Those data processors that you grant access to your personal data profile can access it.

The Personal Data Store (PDS) is an encrypted database dedicated to one specific user. The PDS holds the personal data of a user and is hosted in a secure data center in the EU or in Switzerland. Every user protects his or her PDS with a strong and secure password. No third party can ever read or access the data without that password, not even BitsaboutMe.

We sell services – not data. We charge companies when we build automatic connectors to their CRM systems. This facilitates data exchange with existing customers and enables companies to target potential customers by means of personalized offers.

In the long term, we plan to develop services for data processors (universities, market researchers, app developers, etc.) who are willing to pay for controlled access to your data.

With your permission, interested companies may offer you such data deals. If you provide access to parts of your data, we will manage the transaction and make sure that it happens according to the agreed terms in a save and secure way. Data processors pay for the access to high quality data and we will take a commission of that transaction.

Privacy

Yes, we offer data export. We are an open platform and comply with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). You can manage and extract all of your personal data as CSV file. You find the export functionality in the section My Account.

Currently, we do not offer the possibility to correct your data directly in the PDS. What you can do, however, is to delete incorrect data records from your PDS. To correct data at the source, you have to work with the data holder where the data originally came form. As soon as you have made changes there, these will be transferred to the PDS with the next update.

We only use session cookies (definition) to manage the encrypted communication between browser/app and the server. Those cookies are automatically deleted when you close your browser. We do not leave any data trails behind. This is the reason why you do not see a cookie disclaimer on our site. We also do tracking in Matomo. We believe that this is the maximum we can do to protect your privacy while you use our service. You will never find any 3rd party cookies on our site that are used to profile users and then to sell that data to advertisers.

Technical

For the PDS we use SQLCipher. SQLCipher is an open source extension to SQLite that provides transparent 256-bit AES encryption of database files. In the mobile space, SQLCipher has enjoyed widespread use in Apple’s iOS, as well as Android for quite sometime. For the communication with our servers we use only HTTPS end-to-end encryption.

Usage

With geo-masking, BitsaboutMe offers an innovative possibility to share GPS data in an aggregated and anonymous way, by only passing on information from previously clearly defined areas. All GPS data outside these areas is invisible to the data requestor. This allows you to share relevant information about your location without revealing your privacy. More details on geo-masking can be found here.

To import your data from Netflix, you must first download your Viewing activity file. Log in to Netflix and navigate to Account in the menu. In the My Profile section, you can export under Viewing activity your data as a CSV file and then upload it to BitsaboutMe. You can find detailed instructions here.

Data security and privacy are top priorities for us and therefore we do not have a copy of your password (zero-knowledge) as it would be necessary to restore your user account. Therefore, we cannot reset your password. Only in this way we can assure you that without your login no one – not even BitsaboutMe – can access your data without your explicit consent.

So if you forgot your password, there is nothing we can do. You can create a new account with a different email address. Your old account will always be protected and will be automatically deleted after one year of inactivity. Alternatively, you can request the deletion of your old account at support@bitsabout.me, specifying the email address you used when you signed up. Once you have received the confirmation from us that your account has been deleted, you can create a new account using the same email address.

With some email accounts, it can happen for various reasons that the delivery of the activation email takes a certain time. Unfortunately, we do not have any influence on this. We also advise you to check the spam folder of your inbox. If you have not received an activation email or if the link has already expired, please send an email to support@bitsabout.me so that we can send you a new link to activate your account.

Before you activate the Personal Data Marketplace (PDM), navigate to the section Marketplace, read the Marketplace Rules and then activate the Marketplace. Now you will see all available offers. Select an offer that interests you and see which of your data will be used for what purposes. To accept it, you may need to share additional information. You can enter and save the required data directly on the marketplace interface. 

In the section My Data under Profile you can check and complete your profile data.

If you have trouble connecting your email, there may be a number of reasons:

  • The account and password combination is incorrect: BitsaboutMe requires the same credentials that you use when connecting your smartphone to your email server, for example. If in doubt, make sure your are using the correct password by logging in to your webmail account.
  • Your provider’s configuration cannot be determined: In order for us to connect an email account, the provider must support the IMAP protocol and encrypted access via port 993. This should be standard everywhere these days. We can connect over 70% of all email accounts automatically.
  • Your email provider does not allow IMAP: This is only true for very few providers. In this case we can’t do anything, because we currently only support IMAP for read-only access.
  • Make sure that the correct email account is connected. You can find the account under the corresponding tile My Data and the submenu Import receipt or email. The email account that receives the corresponding emails must be listed here and the Email already connected must be displayed in grey.
  • Make sure that the emails have actually been imported. To do this, select the period All in the Stats section and then use the plus sign to select the corresponding email account for data sources. Then you can search your emails in the search field using the keyword Coop Supercard or Amazon.
  • If not all relevant emails appear, just disconnect and reconnect the email. Please disconnect the email account and the Coop or Amazon account in your PDS and then reconnect the email account (depending on the size this may take some time) and reconnect to Coop/Amazon if you are sure that all data has been imported.

The following steps will help you to find the source of this problem:

  • Make sure that your account and password informatione was correct when connecting your account to BitsaboutMe by logging in to the appropiate website. If in doubt, you can disconnect the data source again and reconnect with the verified password.
  • Wait 3 minutes – when importing large data sources for the first time, it may take a few minutes before the first data is visible.
  • Log out and log in manually once, so all importers will be restarted.
  • Check if the data source is then displayed in the dashboard (home) on the half donut chart Data Sources and the number of records is greater than zero.
  • Go to the Stats section, select for the time period “All” and then click on the plus for choosing data sources. A list appears with all imported data and the number of records. If the data you are looking for is not listed here, then it has not been imported.
  • In this case, the problem must be at the very beginning of the data source connection.

For data based on email (Amazon, Coop), you can find more information in the question The email import for Coop and Amazon does not work.

To import your Amazon data, you must first request your data from Amazon as a PDF file. You can do this on the Amazon support page under Digital Content and Services. As soon as you receive your data, you can import the file into your PDS. Detailed instructions can be found here.

You can also connect your Amazon emails to BitsaboutMe. By doing so, your Amazon orders are imported into your PDS on an ongoing basis.

To import your data from LinkedIn, you must first request your data archive. Go to Settings and Privacy in your LinkedIn menu and navigate to the section  How LinkedIn uses your data. Under Download your data select The works: All of the individual files plus more and submit your request. Within a few days you can download your data archive and import the ZIP file to BitsaboutMe. Detailed instructions can be found here.

In order to import your data from PAYBACK, you must first request your data. Send an email to PAYBACK and within a few days you will receive your data request in the form of two PDF files. You can upload these two files to your PDS. Detailed instructions and an email template can be found here.

If you have difficulty importing your Migros data into your PDS, this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  • Cumulus account is not connected: Verify that your Cumulus account is connected to Meine Migros. This is required to import your Migros data to BitsaboutMe.
  • Wrong password: Make sure that you use the correct password. Therefore, try logging in to Meine Migros with your account and password.
  • Passwort manager: If you use a password manager, we advise you to disable your Migros password in the password manager and to enter it manually on BitsaboutMe.
  • Data provision: If you have a large amount of Migros data, the import may take some time. In this case, you will have to wait about 10-15 minutes to see your Migros data.

If you were unable to import your Google data into your PDS, this may be due to one of the following reasons:

  • After connecting to your Google account, you did not create a data archive (see instructions). Since Google does not allow fully automatic data import, this still has to be done manually.
  • When creating your data archive, make sure that you have selected the right products in the list (Chrome, Fit, Location History, My Activity, Profile).
  • Also check that you have selected the file type “ZIP” and the transmission method “Drive” for the archive format. As soon as your data archive is available, you must log out of your user account and then log in again. Only then the data import can be started. Depending on the data volume, the import may take some time.
  • Google has not stored any personal data about you for the services concerned. This is unlikely, but should also be considered.

For security reasons we do not offer the possibility to change your login address. So if you want to change your registration email, we advise you to delete your user account. Once this is done, you can re-register with your new email address.

We give you the opportunity to delete your user account yourself. If you are logged in to BitsaboutMe, you will find the corresponding function in the dropdown menu in the upper right corner under My Account. If you cannot remember your password, send an email to support@bitsabout.me, explicitly requesting the deletion of your account. We will then inform you by email as soon as we have deleted your account.

If you want to change your password, navigate to the drop-down menu in the top right corner of your user account and click on My Account. There you can change your password yourself.

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