Tuesday, March 29, 2016

A new app called Privacy wants to protect your payment information when you shop online - here's how it works

The issue regarding credit card fraud has become more concerning as the intelligence of hackers has increased. A simple task such as online shopping can ruin one’s life and credit in a matter of seconds. While checking out, consumers are required to enter their credit card information in order to complete the payment method. In some of these cases, hackers are able to access this information allowing them to drain ones banking accounts. This has become a problematic issue for the cardholder, their bank, and the site that they purchased their items off of. Recently, the creation of new app called “Privacy” addresses this issue by helping to prevent and protect shopper’s payment information.
            The most valuable feature of this app is the “virtual burner”, which is payment card numbers that expire after a single use. This eliminates the vulnerability of consumers where they do not need to reveal their true identities or payment information. How the app works is quite simple, after the user registers for the app they are able to retrieve a virtual card number when needed. In addition, one can also install a google chrome extension that lets them click an icon on the checkout page in order to generate their temporary number. These virtual card numbers are untraceable ensuring the security of their bank accounts. It is important to keep in mind that that Privacy can only generate up to 15
numbers a day and caps at 30 per month.
            During registration consumers must give their bank account information to Privacy, which then allows them to remove funds from the account after each purchase. Privacy has teamed up with major banks such as Bank of America, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo. The cost of downloading Privacy is free of cost but they are still able to profit from each transaction. They have a relationship with Visa that allows them to share interchange revenue with Visa and the issuing bank.
            Even though the apps mission is to ensure the privacy of those who choose use their app, there is still much concern regarding it. The article addresses the fact that people have to be willing to give up their identity and bank information in order for the Privacy app to protect them. With everything in the tech world there is the concern of a potential breach in the system. This breach can give hackers access to all of Privacy’s users and cause major issues for both the company and their users. What the article fails to address is how the company plans to ensure the privacy of their users and if this were to happen how they plan to fix it quickly and effectively. With an app that is so new to the market users may be more reluctant to download it until they know that their information will be protected with the utmost security.

            Regardless, I think the App is a great Idea and see it being a valuable component to online shoppers. As credit fraud continues to increase due to online shopping, it will continue to cost Us retailers billions of dollars. The app Privacy can potentially help solve this issue for cardholders and retailers across America.



  1. I think that a service like the one that the app Privacy is providing is in high demand and can provide great security in a time where there are many security breaches and people's information and identities are getting stolen. I agree with what you are stated in your blog where people could be concerned with handing over all their personal information to this company in order to have their information protected. The aim however, in doing so, is to trust that Privacy has better technology resources and security systems that would prevent hackers from breaching their system and stealing all your information. Therefore, in order for me to give my information to Privacy, I would have to be confident that in their ability to defend potential breaches on their system to steal their customers' data. My concern would be the competitors or the already existing technologies that do a similar thing. Paypal, even though it is not the same thing is a pre-existing, secure method for shopping online that ensures the protection of your information unless their entire system were to be breached. Additionally, near-field communication systems that enable you to pay with your phone such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay provide you the same security by providing temporary card numbers that are only active for that single purchase. The only thing that the app Privacy does differently is that it generates a burner credit card number that you can go use online. I think this is a big step and is essentially taking the idea of these near-field communication systems technology to internet where the technology cannot be used. The only thing that I think would improve this technology would increasing the amount of times a month that you could use their service. Yes, thirty seems like a lot, but there should be no restriction or cap on the amount of times if their goal is to ensure the security of their customers' credit card information.

  2. As someone who has had both my credit and debit card hacked on multiple occasions, I am always very wary of saving my card information on sites or giving my bank information to apps. Although apps like these have the right idea, it is hard for them to build up the trust and reputation to gain new users at first. I would not risk signing up for an app like this until it had ample reviews saying it was safe.
    Most recently when my card was hacked, someone at the bank told me it was probably due to online shopping but they weren’t sure what store. Ever since this happened, I have been really intrigued about card numbers that expire after one use. The problem with one time use credit cards is that they are not as convenient as just typing in your credit card number. If Privacy was proven to actually be safe, their extension for google chrome would be very convenient for users.
    I would be curious to know what plans Privacy has to prevent their databases from getting hacked, and if they have a plan in place in case they do get hacked. Since Privacy’s number one priority is keeping peoples sensitive material private, if they were to get hacked they would have major repercussions and lose the majority of their customer base. When a retail based company gets hacked, they would have less repercussions because consumers will still want to buy their products. This makes me think that Privacy will make sure they always have the top security on their users banking data.


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