FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  1. General Questions
    1. What service does ErnieApp bring to me?
    2. How do I benefit from ErnieApp?
    3. How do I benefit from the privacy manager?
    4. What is the Right to Monetize? How does it concern me?
    5. What other benefits I get from the privacy manager?
  2. Metrics and Credits
    1. Privacy Openness and Online Contribution
      1. What is it and how do you calculate the Privacy Openness metric?
      2. What is it and how do you calculate the Online Contribution metric?
    2. ErnieApp Tokens
      1. What are the ErnieApp Tokens and how do I accrue them?
      2. How can I redeem the ErnieApp Tokens?
      3. Do my ErnieApp Tokens Expire?
    3. Navigation Credits
      1. What are the Navigation Credits (Nav Credits)?
      2. Why my Navigation Credits (Nav Credits) Remain at 0?
      3. What shall I do if they continue not to pay me?
      4. Do Internet companies have an obligation to pay me?
      5. How do I make money with ErnieApp?
  3. Internet Accounts & Privacy Settings
    1. Which are the 3rd party services that ErnieApp Supports?
    2. Why some services do not work (e.g. WhatsApp / Snapchat)?
    3. Which Privacy Settings can I change?
    4. Can I configure more than one service account?
    5. If I install on my smartphone ErnieApp and use it, does my usage of the 3rd party app gets affected?
  4. Game
    1. ErnieApp is also a game: how does it work?
  5. Launch & App Availability
    1. Why is ErnieApp being launched now?
    2. In which countries is ErnieApp Available?
  6. App Support
    1. Does your app work on both Android an iOS?
    2. Does your app work on desktop browsers?
    3. Can I use ErnieApp on more than one device?
    4. What if I want to delete the app? Where does my data go?

General Questions

What service does ErnieApp bring to me?

ErnieApp is the first ever instant privacy management service coming to consumers.

With ErnieApp you can manage your privacy choices on popular internet services in a snap, without other parties acting as intermediaries and claiming that they can do for you what you can actually do by yourself much better than anyone else.

The principle is simple. Your consent matters to businesses. It’s not just compliance (GDPR). It’s about profitability. Consented user’s data trigger a higher value in the internet market place. Basically, this means that companies need your consent to maintain profitability. All companies. No matter which is the business they are in.

So, the better you manage your consent “by yourself“, the better your user experience. Since consent links directly with data permissions purpose for the party which collects it, we truly think that no one else better than you can take the right decision in a responsible way on to whom your consent shall be given, when and for how long. Or be withdrawn.

How do I benefit from ErnieApp?

ErnieApp combines two distinct services in a unified experience: a functional “privacy manager” and an “educational” game which helps you understanding the conundrum of how internet companies use your data and what type of consent level is critical to their profitability and business model (e.g. WhatsApp needs to access your Contacts while Google Maps needs to track you through your geolocation).

We called our service a PKM (Privacy Knowledge Manager) because we love thinking that technology innovation (Manager function) should walk hand-in-hand with human knowledge.

How do I benefit from the privacy manager?

The privacy manager is what we designed to make it easy for you to manage, across your accounts, the privacy settings of 3rd party applications, through a single dashboard, in real time. By “manage” we mean porting a change in the state of your 3rd party privacy settings (open/close/delete), including when we don’t have a partnership with that given 3rd party.

At the moment, the services we support are: Google (e.g. Search, Maps), You Tube, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. More services are on the pipeline and we will add those that the users want the most, progressively.

What is the Right to Monetize? How does it concern me?

The Right to Monetize (RTM) is a new notion which we propose to become an integral part of consumer digital rights.

It aims at changing the paradigm that governs users and companies relationship on internet by establishing a compensation right to users that contribute with their data to companies’ profitability.

RTM preconizes for each user the right to receive a proportionate compensation (revenue sharing based) from an internet company whom it has helped to operate its business, thanks to his generated data.

The compensation is thought to reward the persistent willingness of the user to continue share its data which are used by the internet company to make a profitable business and when this company wants to use the data with 3rd parties.

Under RTM scheme a user would also be entitled to a fair compensation when and if he consents that his data can be used by 3rd parties beyond the 1st party data collector.

In practice RTM would help regulating how people’s data can be passed through one or more processors based on user express consent level in a very transparent and accountable way for companies.

The system would reward better those companies that accept to transparent toward users and accountable to return them Nav Credits (Navigation Credits).

The scheme would apply to all users generated data, including those data that get pseudo-anonymized by companies for post processing purposes.

Are you interested to know more? Read the Right to Monetize Manifesto here.

What other benefits I get from the privacy manager?

Under the privacy manager service we provide you with personalized metrics plus 3rd party services comparative analysis. Your personalized metrics appear in the app. These are shown as “Your online contribution” and “Your Openness“.

A comparative analysis, called the “Fairness Ranking Chart“, can be found by scrolling down ErnieApp dashboard.

Each of these metrics is designed to simplify your understanding on why your consent matters and help you make an informed opinion, which you can use to base your further privacy decisions (e.g. being more open or less open, with whom, when, for how long or more close, or when you prefer deleting the data you generated on the 3rd party service).

The beauty is that you don’t need to send an email or mail “requests” to the 3rd party for deleting your data. You can just decide when and what to delete your personal data and do it, right away. Deletion will occur immediately after you click on the delete button.


Metrics and Credits

Privacy Openness and Online Contribution

What is it and how do you calculate the Privacy Openness metric?

The Privacy Openness metric belongs to the user domain. It’s a highly personalized calculation. It’s computed from the analysis of your privacy settings state on the 3rd party accounts you have configured in ErnieApp.

What is it and how do you calculate the Online Contribution metric?

The Online Contribution metric belongs to the user domain. It’s highly personalized, and it is computed from (a) your engagement in-app, (b) your engagement on 3rd party internet services and (c) Your Openness metric.

ErnieApp Tokens

What are the ErnieApp Tokens and how do I accrue them?

The ErnieApp Tokens (expressed in units) are points that ErnieApp rewards you with for doing specific actions in app (e.g. making a referral, filling a survey; refreshing the settings, adding an account, playing the game etc). You accrue them by fulfilling actions.

Sometimes you need to fulfill actions based on specific time intervals (e.g. repeat an action for a certain number of consecutive days).

How can I redeem the ErnieApp Tokens?

Tokens can be redeemed in-app against tickets to participate in a Prize Draw. The Prize Draw occurs every month.

Do my ErnieApp Tokens Expire?

No, they do not expire.

Navigation Credits

What are the Navigation Credits (Nav Credits)?

The Navigation Credits (Nav Credits) are the economic incentive which a company rewards you with, in exchange of your loyalty.

It’s left to the internet company which are partners of ErnieApp to determine the appropriate loyalty policy as applicable to you.

At the moment we don’t have any partner which is willing to compensate you. We are building the community which will help us negotiating with the largest tech-companies the fair compensation they should provide you in return of your openness and willingness to create more digital value.

We believe we have for them a compelling story. Fewer but better data, directly qualified from the user, for the benefit of their business.

Why my Navigation Credits (Nav Credits) Remain at 0?

Your Navigation Credits (Nav Credits) remain at 0 because companies don’t want to pay you, at the moment. The scheme we propose is new and the trend in the data industry is not to pay users for their consent and associated permissions. We believe this is to be changed and we are offering to businesses a good solution.

Users can customize their level of consent dynamically and negotiate incentives based on their willingness to remain open toward selected 3rd party.

What shall I do if they continue not to pay me?

When your Navigation Credits for some or all your account remains at 0, you can adjust your privacy settings, delete (and/or export your data). These actions serve to convey, technically, a red flag toward the companies ignoring your claim for a fair compensation, suggesting that you are not happy, and you are inclined to reduce your openness and hence their profitability.

Do Internet companies have an obligation to pay me?

No, they don’t have an obligation in legal terms.

Like airlines are not obliged to grant you miles for paid tickets you purchase or retail store to discount purchases goods if you accrue loyalty points over time. However, every industry in the world works out a promotional and loyalty framework for his best customers and acknowledge their special contribution value. We at ErnieApp believe that companies whether their business is digital or aided by digital technologies are not different from real economy companies: they shall cheer their user to retain him and they should do even more when a user remains open and engaged.

The notion we introduced with ErnieApp is that any user, by going on line, actually helps a company to generate lots of value. This value comes from the exploitation of user data. Hence out of that value some form of compensation should return to the user. We anchored this goal into a new right for consumers, called it “RTM” and which we advocate for governments and business to look at as a new positive evolution of the internet.

For more information on RTM read the Right to Monetize Manifesto here.

How do I make money with ErnieApp

The app, in its current version, is not intended to enable you to make money, though it offers a new trading scheme to induce companies to return you a fair share of the gains you have allowed them to make. ErnieApp is working on building the partnerships which will enable you to negotiate your Navigation Credits goals and claims.


Internet Accounts & Privacy Settings

Which are the 3rd party services that ErnieApp Supports?

Currently we support the privacy settings of some popular global internet services (Google Search, Google Maps, You Tube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter). The services list will grow overtime. We also plan to include popular local services.

Why some services do not work (e.g. WhatsApp / Snapchat)?

We make visible to the user which services do not provide any capability in regard to privacy settings changes. These are for example WhatsApp and Snapchat.

Which Privacy Settings can I change?

By configuring your Google, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts in our dashboard you will be able to change those settings which apply to these accounts (e.g.: your Gmail account will serve to manage settings across Search, Maps and You Tube while your Facebook account will serve to manage settings on Facebook only).

Which and how many settings you can change depends on the 3rd party privacy setting design configuration. We predict that new settings will be made available over time by these and other 3rd party and in such case we will strive to make them always accessible to you in ErnieApp.

Some companies use privacy settings which “remain obfuscated” to the user. We are sorry that in such case we will not be able to serve you those settings in ErnieApp dashboard.

Can I configure more than one service account?

Yes, you can do that (e.g. If you have 2 accounts or more of the same service (e.g. Google / Facebook) you can add all of them.

If I install on my smartphone ErnieApp and use it, does my usage of the 3rd party app gets affected?

No, we implemented ErnieApp technology in such way that your user experience doesn’t get affected.


Game

ErnieApp is also a game: how does it work?

We provide you with a tuition game in the form of quizzes.

The game journey is made of several levels and 5 playgrounds which mimics the real world (e.g. your home, your office or a shopping mall).

By answering the quizzes you grow your awareness and knowledge around how the internet works, who needs which data from you and why; what you can expect from them; what else is happening in the technology space which renders more and more sophisticated user data collection and processing without you knowing it.


ErnieApp Launch & App Availability

Why is ErnieApp being launched now?

We at ErnieApp think that the times when users feel intimidated by the internet ecosystem complexity and companies nurture that intimidation at their advantage should end. We think the time has come to make people comfortable and relaxed on why users’ data is critically important to businesses and as such deserve a compensation which they can influence with few clicks.

In which countries is ErnieApp Available?

The service is now being launched in Belgium and Ireland. You can check the launch dates of other countries on our website. www.ernieapp.com


App Support

Does your app work on both Android an iOS?

Currently we support Android (from version 6 onwards). iOS is coming shortly.

Does your app work on desktop browsers?

Currently we support it on mobile only. We are working on making it available on desktop browsers.

Can I use ErnieApp on more than one device?

Yes, you can use ErnieApp across all your devices and manage the settings from ErnieApp dashboard.

When you change the privacy settings per account basis, these will apply across devices, seamlessly.

What if I want to delete the app? Where does my data go?

If you want to delete ErnieApp you can do so from the app itself.

Go to your profile and click on the “Delete Account” button.