The Privacy Knowledge Manager is a mobile app that combines two main functions: (i) aggregating the privacy and consent permission settings of multiple internet services chosen by the user from the list provided in the app into a single access point (PKM Dashboard) and (ii) managing them with ease.
The PKM is a mobile app that falls under the 'utility' category. It helps you to easily exercise your privacy rights. It is important that you know that when you visit a website or use a mobile app, the consent you provide for using your personal data for marketing and profiling, targeting or other purposes is of vital importance for companies. It's not just GDPR compliance. It's all about profitability. Your personal data, when qualified by your 'express consent', has a higher value for companies. All companies. Regardless of their industry. The GDPR specifies that you can change the status of your consent at any time. That is, you can confirm or withdraw it. But it's down to you to be aware of it. And it's down to the companies to make it possible for you. We make it easier to manage consent and permissions by aggregating your web-app privacy permissions into a single place.
No. The app requires an active broadband or Wi-Fi connection.
Yes. The status of your consents and permissions, as well as any changes to them, are read in real time when you open the app.
Yes, you can download and use ErnieApp on all your devices even with different operating systems if you have registered an ErnieApp account. Managing the services’ privacy permissions (reading and modifying the status) is synchronized. When you change the privacy settings on an account, the change will be reflected across all the devices where you are logged in with that account.
In addition to manage the privacy permissions on your favorite web apps, delete your personal data on your accounts; view the data a digital services holds from you; measure your privacy score you can also play a quiz-game to grow your digital and privacy skills.
The age of consent, i.e. when a minor is able or required to give their consent for the processing of their personal data according to the GDPR, Article 8, is set at 16 years, even if Member States can set a different age of consent, provided that this is not less than 13 years of age. Apple's developer guidelines require an app featuring a prize draw to be classified as gambling, which requires a user to be at least 17 years old.
ErnieApp has been released in English, Italian and French. We are working on making the app available in other languages.
The service is available in Saudi Arabia, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Ecuador, United Arab Emirates, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Japan, Hong Kong, Korea, India, Ireland, Iceland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, Mexico, Nigeria, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Paraguay, Peru, Poland, Portugal, United Kingdom, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Turkey, United States, Hungary and Uruguay.
It is a 'start-up', founded in 2017, based in Dublin, Ireland (www.ernieapp.com). The founder, Isabella de Michelis, is a privacy and digital technologies expert, who has worked for years for large American and European companies. She decided to create ErnieApp after realizing that privacy has a value, both for people and for companies, but the relationship between the two counterparts needed an innovative strategy, which is made possible today thanks to the PKM. https://twitter.com/Ernieapp2 and https://www.linkedin.com/in/isabella-de-michelis-3192bb/
Yes, the app logos and the Ernie name are registered trademarks in Ireland and other countries. For more information you can consult our website https://ernieapp.com/registered-trademarks/
Yes. The PKM is multi-platform. The app 4.0 has been published on the Apple store and Google Play stores.
We currently only support the PKM mobile version.
No, your experience remains the same. The service (for example Google Maps) will continue to work but, if you have denied your consent to tracking for marketing purposes (for example), Google will not be able to monetize your personal data for that specific purpose. If they want to do so, they will have to incentivize and convince you to update your consent status for profiling based on your opt-in history. Any company that does not respect the 'status' of your consent risks very high fines, but ultimately it cannot profitably exploit the data and information it has collected about you, neither for internal use nor with partners, as the partners themselves will ask for the evidence of your consent.
It's very simple, but you need to have an ErnieApp account. Open the app, and from the Dashboard tap on the icon of a service (e.g. Google) with no red shading around it; then open the Privacy Settings page. You will see a Broom icon . Simply tap on it. The deletion button is only visible on the screen for services that support the deletion of personal data. Remember that you do not need intermediaries to exercise your GDPR ‘deletion’ rights. With just one tap you can delete the data yourself. The deletion of personal data will take place immediately, straight after you have tapped on the deletion button and confirmed your decision. We cannot perform the deletion on your behalf.
The linked internet services will appear horizontally in chronological order, in Dashboard. When there are more than 4-5 services (depending on your smartphone model), you may have to swipe from right to left to see them. If you "drag" (i.e. slide your finger) to the left of the horizontal line of the service icons in Dashboard, you will be able to see the other services too.
This is a warning. It warns you that the third-party service account (e.g. Google) needs to be re-authenticated. You can tap the icon and follow the instructions. As soon as you have re-authenticated your account, the red shading will disappear.
It is a functional command to guarantee the continuous supply of the PKM service. Tapping it will refresh the accounts linked to the PKM. Carrying out this command may take a few seconds, depending on the number of accounts you have configured. Avoid closing the app if you have launched Global Refresh, otherwise the operation may fail.
Yes, you can, except for Black services. Only one account at the time is allowed as a user without an account.
No. When you use the PKM without an account, we do not keep any identifiers relating to you or your accounts; each time you exit the app you will be asked to repeat the configuration process. For continuous access to the privacy settings of the service you have linked in the PKM, you need to register an account on ErnieApp.
No, this is not possible. You need to register an ErnieApp account to use the deletion command.
No, this is not possible. You need to register an ErnieApp account to use the data visualization feature command.
Yes, you can sign-up from the Privacy Settings screen of the service you have configured in the PKM (red button with SIGN UP), and also by tapping on the ‘delete’ button on the same screen as it will offer a SIGN-UP option (at the bottom of the page).
No, we do not keep any identifiers when you use the PKM as a 'user without account'. So even if you register an account on ErnieApp while using the PKM without a user account, you will need to re-authenticate the third party's service account (e.g. Google) on the PKM. We are sorry that this may involve extra effort, but it is to respect your privacy and ensure security.
It's easy - you can do it yourself right from the app. Open the app, go to Home, tap on the icon of the internet service whose account you want to unlink (with or without red shading); open the privacy settings page and scroll down the page; you will find a button that says, "Unlink account". Tap the button. The system will automatically unlink the account. You can always re-link it but you will have to re-authenticate on the service.
It's simple and you can do it anytime, straight from the app. Open the app, tap More in the Menu, then tap Profile and scroll down the page. When you find the "Delete Account" button, tap it. You will be prompted to confirm your intention a second time. If you confirm, the system will carry out your request in real time and will automatically delete your ErnieApp account and any personal data associated with it. If you change your mind and want to recover your account after you have deleted it, it will not be possible. You will have to register a new account. We do not keep any personal data linked to your profile after deletion.
These services (despite having more than 100 million monthly active users worldwide), like many others, do not display technical interfaces compatible with the PKM design. We want to be transparent to our users. We are working hard to support these popular services as well. We are also committed to promoting common technical interfaces standards with privacy regulators and authorities.
We have introduced an evaluation system into the app. When a user taps on a service in the list that cannot yet be connected to the PKM, we offer the user the option to vote. More than once, in fact. The rating reflects your level of expectation of gaining access to privacy permissions for those services. The more votes, the stronger the pressure on these companies to open permission interfaces which are compatible with the PKM.
We designed the PKM according to the principle of 'data minimization'. We ask you to provide us an email and to create a password (which you can both change later). These information are used to create your 'PKM profile' in the system and enable you to access the services that you want to use. To offer you a quality PKM service (to sync your settings if you use the PKM on multiple devices) and to provide you with technical assistance, we need to identify you. Furthermore, the Openness Index is a custom metric, and its calculation requires historical data, linked to your profile. We don’t use such information for other purposes.
Email validation is required to confirm the sign-up process. After you have entered an email address and created a password, we send you an email. Only by opening that email and accepting it do you allow us to create an ErnieApp profile, which you can then link to the PKM service. Absent that confirmation your profile is not created and none of your personal data is stored in our system. For example, when you test the app as a user without an account, we don’t retain any data on you.
The following services are supported: Google Ad Targeting and Web-App Activities); Google Maps; YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Spotify, LinkedIn, Netflix, Pinterest, ebay, subito.it, Mediaset, Rai.it, La Feltrinelli. Other services are in the pipeline and will be added gradually.
You can link all your accounts on which you perform an authentication.
Yes, the PKM also supports Google Business accounts.
Yes, you can. For example, if you have 2 or more Gmail and Facebook accounts, you can add them all, as long as you have registered an ErnieApp account. Each account will be listed and shown separately from the others; you can change the privacy consent and permissions independently on each account.
No, ErnieApp invites you to create a native account (email, password).
Yes, but the privacy settings functionalities will be limited. For example: users without accounts can only link one account of one internet service at a time, and since we cannot identify them, we cannot guarantee unregistered users’ continuous access to the privacy settings of the account they have decided to test. Furthermore, users without an account cannot access the 'game' nor participate in the Prize Draw or use premium features.
Black badge on an internet service card labels a special category of digital services, the so called ‘Black Services’ which require a Premium plan with unlimited features enrollment to be enjoyed.
The system detects, upon opening the app, the minimum service plan requirements, based on your profile. If you are not in the adequate service plan, the digital account ‘icon’ in dashboard will show full or partially inactive, as one or more accounts are not accessible. In essence, the account is/are linked to the PKM but you cannot open and change the privacy settings of that specific digital account/s unless you enroll back in the appropriate premium service plan.
It indicates that the ‘data view’ capability is available on that given service but not actionable because you are not in the adequate premium service plan. Instead, if you see the eye icon green filled it means the capability is available and you are in the right plan to enjoy it. Just click on it.
It indicates that ‘data view’ capability is inactive because the digital service (e.g. Google) doesn’t permit the view of your data unless the relevant privacy setting (switch) is turned to ON (for Google it’s the case for example for Ad Targeting switch). Therefore, even if you are in the correct ErnieApp premium service plan, unless the Google Ad Targeting switch is turned to ON, the data view on Google Web Ap cannot be performed.
Yes, of course. You can always unlink any digital account from the PKM dashboard by tapping on the full or partial grey icon in dashboard and following the instructions to perform the unlink. Should you have saved for that account the password in the vault, and want to delete it, please click on Profile, then click on Manage my accounts and, after authentication, access the vault and delete your passwords.
The app has been very well received by the consumers. Who now request more and more services and more privacy functionalities in app. As we don’t serve ads and don’t broker out user’s data for remuneration, but we want to grow the catalogue of the supported services offered to our users and continue to power up the PKM engine, we are forced to introduce the paid service plan option to fund our research, development and operations.
No. Premium plans and premium features are reserved to ErnieApp ‘registered’ users.
Yes. The Silver plan, on which you are automatically enrolled when registering, allows you to use the PKM for as long as you desire up to 2 concurrent accounts for free. Game, Prize Draw participation and data wiping command remain included free features under Silver plan.
Silver allows you to use the PKM with some limitations: number of digital accounts that you can configure, the number and or type of privacy settings that you can retrieve and manage concurrently etc. By upgrading you will enjoy rich valued added services and unlimited functionalities.
It depends on your needs. Please consult the Service Plans in app by clicking on More to assess which service plan is more suitable for you. Each plan has a color, a label and a name and lists the included features. Service plan composition may vary over time, but no changes will affect you during the validity of your active service plan.
It’s simple. From the Service plan card you can activate the suitable plan. You will need a minimum amount of Ernie’s to redeem. Should you not have enough Ernie’s, the system will prompt you to accrue Ernie’s or purchase Ernie’s on the store.
If you fail to extend the premium plan or upgrade some features may become unavailable (e.g., accounts may be shown as ‘locked’) to you because you have discontinued your premium plan. Subject to re-activation or upgrade, these features will become available again.
We want to give the user complete freedom to choose how he/she prefers to activate, upgrade or extend the premium service plan. The logic behind is that we let users accrue Ernie’s in exchange of certain actions which are valuable to us (e.g. A referral gets rewarded with Ernie’s) and as a result the user can redeem awarded Ernie’s against a premium service plan activation upgrade or extension of their choice, without any disbursement. However, we also let users decide, if they wish, to straight purchase Ernie’s. We value transparency.
A minimum amount of Ernie’s may be required to activate, upgrade and or extend a premium service plan (e.g., 500 or 1.000 for a given premium service plan) according to our EULA.
Duration is always spelled on the premium plan cards (e.g. plan validity can be 90 days). Extension can be subscribed during the period of validity.
The expiration (in days and hours) is shown in the premium plan card on which the user is enrolled and can be viewed under More. When the premium plan is upgraded and/or extended the validity is prolonged accordingly and the user will see the new expiration date, instantly.
Yes. Premium plans can be extended and/or upgraded, anytime, before elapsing. A user can also purchase multiple plan extensions all together, upon condition to have enough Ernie’s to redeem.
Based on the service plan in which you are enrolled, the system will detect the upgrade requirements and offer to you to upgrade. You can accept or decline and decide later. E.g. Assuming you decide to upgrade from Red to Black service plan during the validity of the Red service plan coverage, the system will allow you to upgrade and extend the validity at the same time without losing the unused days of your Red plan.
It lists the accounts linked to the PKM and their status (active, inactive ect) plus it provides you with the system to track if you fulfill the conditions for the Ernie’s award.
The Openness Index is a proxy privacy meter. It calculates your privacy score and represents it according to three levels (Low, Medium, High). The lowest the value, the greater your privacy. The highest the value, the lesser your privacy. It is also expressed in %.
The Openness Index is personalized to you and is calculated instantly every time you open the app. It is based on the state of the privacy permissions on the accounts you have linked in ErnieApp and on the actions you perform on the settings over time (active accounts).
Ernie’s is a digital value (expressed in units) which is used to subscribe to PKM premium service plans in-app. Ernie’s is not a real-world currency. It cannot be used outside the app. Ernie’s are always expressed in integer number (e.g., 200).
You can be awarded Ernie’s against sponsored actions, or you can purchase Ernie’s lots on the store. App store in-app purchase terms and conditions apply if you were to purchase Ernie’s. Visit How to Get Ernie’s page in app to discover more.
Ernie’s price catalogue is published in app. Lots price, quantity per lot and applicable discounts by lot may vary overtime according to ErnieApp marketing and sales strategy.
No, they don’t as far as you maintain an active ErnieApp account.
The Ernie’s balance is shown to the user in real time, in different app screens (Home, Game, Privacy Settings, How to Get Ernie’s, Prize screens). Balance gets updated each time the user fulfills an accruing conditions and/or purchases Ernie’s and/or redeems Ernie’s. While Ernie’s purchases are instant (unless a transaction error occurs), Ernie’s accrual conditions can take as long as a month to be met.
It will take as long as necessary depending on the type of award (one time off, recurrent, temporal based). For example: we reward users with Ernie’s if they refer the app to a friend. The referral award is deemed to be completed when the referred friend registers an account on ErnieApp and validated his email account. So, until that happens, we may not update your Ernie’s balance. Or as another example: we award Ernie’s in exchange for you to advance in the game playgrounds. It depends on how long it takes you to complete the playground how soon we will be able to award you the corresponding Ernie’s. As a general rule, the system automatically detects and manages the accruing process.
Yes, it will. If you use ErnieApp PKM on an Android and an Apple phone, Ernie’s are computed and tracked based on your ErnieApp account. Hence, if you accrue or redeem them, the balance will always be updated. If you purchase Ernie’s on one store (Apple) and then want to use them on your other device which is an Android phone, you will be able to do that as the balance of your Ernie’s is linked to your ErnieApp account and not to the device operating system.
No. there are no limitations for now, but this is based on company marketing policy which may vary from time to time.
Accepting push notifications is the only way to receive communications about the PKM engine updates and or news related to the PKM service (e.g. some services may undergo periodic maintenance). We use push notification to inform you on the timing of the introduction of new services or new privacy settings; release of a new version of the app, release of new game levels or support of new premium features. You can always opt-out by visiting Profile.
We save the history of push notifications in case a user would like to read them again. You can also visit the Notification center and delete them by clicking on each one.
Nothing to worry. The system detects the minimum service plan conditions required by an ErnieApp user to access/use the PKM premium features. Hence the user will receive an automatic alert notification each time the minimum requirements are not met, suggesting to the user how to meet the requirements. You can accept it or decline and decide later.
Yes, the system will send you a push notification and an email a notification to alert you before the premium plan expires and after the premium plan has elapsed. If you fail to extend or re-activate the adequate plan, the system will apply the limitations as defined by the minimum service plan requirements (please review our End User License Agreement).
Occasionally, the purchase transaction on the app store may not successfully complete. It may depend on a variety of factors going from poor quality connectivity, problems with your credit card and or the app store. We will notify you of any malfunctioning if they occur.
The PKM can retrieve the privacy settings and allow you to manage them subject to you being authenticated. You decide which and how many accounts you wish to link to the PKM, when, and for how long. On our side, we need to make sure that you are the in control of the account you wish to link.
Yes, your passwords are always safe because they remain in the domain of your service provider. We do not acquire them or know them or view them. Should you save them on the device by leveraging the Ernie ‘vault’, they will be encrypted on your device meaning that if you use ErnieApp on 2 devices
Yes. The PKM supports several services with social media log-in authentication, and we will continue to extend this feature.
It’s a service enhancement. Rel 4.0 we give the option to the user to enable the biometric authentication – fingerprint or faceID (used to access the account ‘vault’ for example). As the biometric sensor is managed by the operating system, ErnieApp asks your permission to activate it. You can grant such permission anytime or withdraw it anytime. If you do not enable the biometric sensos on ErnieApp, the PKM will continue to work fine. The only difference will be that our system will require you to type the system passcode when needed (e.g., authentication on the vault or to re-login on the services when needed.
It’s a service enhancement. With version 4.0 we offer the option to save and encrypt on each of your devices the passwords of the digital accounts linked to the PKM. This capability facilitates the fast-track access to the privacy settings of the internet services you have chosen to link to the PKM. Only the user controls the account’s vault (viewing, adding or deleting passwords in the vault).
Yes, it is. The vault itself is passcode authentication protected and built upon the operating system strict security and encryption requirements. When you log on a digital account that you wish to link to the PKM, the system will ask you if you want to save and encrypt the passwords in the vault. If saved, it gets stored on the device. If the user is using the PKM on more than one device, the password will need to be saved and encrypted on each device. If the user declines the saving, it can be done at any another time. Deleting the password from is also device specific.
It’s easy. Go to More, tap on Profile, click on ‘Passwords vault’ and follow the instructions. The system will request an authentication and then it’s just a matter of selecting which password of which account you wish to delete and confirm the deletion. Only the user can view/save and/or delete accounts’ passwords in the vault. We cannot view, add or delete any password.
All personal data (more specifically the username used to authenticate on the digital account) get instantly deleted when you perform the unlink account procedure. If you wish to also delete the password which you may have saved in app vault, you need to access the vault and delete it by yourself. If you linked that digital account to the PKM on more than one device, you need to delete the password saved in app vault on a by device basis. We apologize for the inconvenience but it’s for your own security that we cannot do this operation on your behalf.
All your personal data get instantly deleted (username and password to access ErnieApp); the digital accounts linked in your PKM dashboard, and any password eventually saved in vault get deleted too. We will not be able to recover your profile and the associated information once deleted. That means that if you delete your account and you had un-used Ernie’s or active Premium service plan you will no longer have access to them.
Any active PKM user can participate, meaning any user which has at least used the PKM service once in the month preceding the Prize draw is entitled to participate upon condition to fulfil the other conditions to participate in the Prize Draw as described in the Prize Draw terms and conditions (age 16+ years old for Android and +17 years old for Apple users). Winner selection and notification remains unchanged from Prize Draw previous editions.
No more tokens are used in ErnieApp 4.0. Nor Prize Draw tickets to redeem by exchanging tokens. Ernie tokens have ceased to exist.
It’s quiz game designed like a learning and discovery journey about ‘digital’ and “privacy’ interplay. It is organized in a sequence of playgrounds, each with progressive levels of difficulty. It's inspired by the real world and how the digital life connects to your real life, as well as how companies use your data to build profitable data driven businesses. By answering the quizzes, you can expand your knowledge on how the digital economy works, what kind of data digital companies need from you, and why or for what purpose; what you can expect from these companies if they no longer receive personal data from you; the key tech trends you should be aware of if you want to exercise the Right to Monetize. Through the game you will discover which and how companies are competing, for your data and information. Remember that these companies need your 'express' consent to use your personal data, and in most cases they would all like to access the same type of data from you and your devices. The more informed you are about their data collection and use practices, the easier it will be for you to claim your fair if you want to exercise the Right to Monetize.
The Right to Monetize (RTM) is a new policy concept that we have created and which we propose should become a new consumers' digital right. We would like to change the paradigm that governs the relationships between companies and users, according to which companies never compensate users for the data they generate, and in return users benefit from free or paid services. With RTM, we recommend the adoption of a new principle of proportional fairness, by which users who contribute with their "permissions" to process data processing should receive a fair, equitable, non-discriminatory, proportionate compensation. The scheme would apply to all user-generated data, both personal and non-personal. Want to know more? Read our Right to Monetize Manifesto https://ernieapp.com/right-to-monetize/
This topic is increasingly relevant and is more than just an academic discourse. It is being considered as a way of reforming the policies and economics of the digital economy by the European Commission. You can play your part. We believe that by giving users more power and making them autonomous in managing their privacy consent and permissions, we are on the right track. Since companies really need users' consent and data, users need to gain awareness and take advantage of this, in order to strengthen their negotiation lever towards the corporate world.