Speaking of commitment, there is a thing that really sets Peerbelt apart from the rest of the search engines out there. We do not just claim respect for your privacy. We do things right, so to ENSURE your privacy. No matter what changes at Peerbelt, with the right foundation, the future Peerbelt will have real hard time adjusting and thus violating the former privacy claims, even if the company wanted to. Like these claims:
- Peerbelt is not interested in linking what you see online to you as an individual. You use Peerbelt without first setting up an account, providing email or authenticating through social sites. This ensures no personally identifying information can be collected or kept. Do not know about you, but I am getting bit tired of seeing only cars across the Web, even though I shopped for one 5 months ago.
- Since your behavior is at the core of Peerbelt’s ranking, we decided to do all the behavioral info processing right on your laptop or desktop. The application keeps your browsing library on the device too. We do not upload behavioral data to the cloud for later processing nor we store and serve your visits from there.
- We have built into the application simple filters to keep sensitive sites and content away from your browsing library. At very basic level, any content seen over secure https connection is never tracked or indexed. This takes care of your typical online banking, e-commerce ordering and payment processing never be indexed and added to the browsing library. The exceptions from this rule: Twitter and search related content in DuckDuckGo and Google.
- We did not stop here. We worked hard to implement sophisticated content filters that prevent online mail and chat, all forms of SPAM, even news and shopping content from entering your library. There are almost 1M sites and pages in our filters. Having said that, you can override the filters if you chose to. As before, the filtering takes place on your device and information about your unwanted online visits never leaks to the cloud.
A search engine dedicated to you
We started Peerbelt as a personal search engine that helps us retain all the valuable nuggets seen online. As the concept grows, it is logical to give your information quests a boost by recommending content seen by your peers. If the peers have invested time in reading or duplicating information on a particular topic, it can be that their time investment is helping you get started with a research in this area. This leads us to the anonymous pieces of information Peerbelt collects in order to better serve you.
Information shared with Peerbelt
- Crash dumps help us fix bugs. Our software runs on your machine and without information about the crashes being shared with us, we cannot possibly know about a problem you experienced.
- Anonymous usage stats in the form of [feature id, click count] help us decide what feature you enjoy most. On the other end of the spectrum, you help us make easy decisions on retiring or improving problematic functionality.
- The best 10 to 20 online pages you have discovered in a particular day. We only collect the page url, the behavior driven rank for the page and the page context (prior query or link with ~200 surrounding characters that led to the page).
- Random Peerbelt instance identifier that helps us group crash dumps or usage stats and lets us identify and eliminate duplicate information and work effort. Ultimately, the instance identifier makes us more efficient. It does not expose any personally identifying info. If you decide, you can remove the old and ask for a brand new identifier. To do so, delete the file named instance.pbkey file from ~/Library/PeerBelt (Mac) or \Users\<your account>\AppData\LocalLow\PeerBelt (Windows).
Information Peerbelt does not collect both locally and in the cloud
It is hard to list every single piece of information we could possible collect. Still, these statements come to reassure you of our respect to privacy and void any outstanding worries. We do not track, collect or keep:
- Any site logon and account information, including authentication and session related cookies, cookies third parties may be tracking you with across the Web, your IP address. Recently the car ads gave way to steam based cleaner I peeked at Walmart. The World proved colorful once again.
- Information you enter in textual fields on any of the sites you visit.
- Information about any sites you have manually blocked (removed) from your library.
- Information about sites viewed over https with the exception of Twitter, searches in Google and DuckDuckGo.
- Information about sites blacklisted by the Peerbelt’s filters. This covers online chat, online email, adult, dating, etc. You can still override the filters though.
- Information that is not blacklisted, but you browse in Incognito (Chrome), Private Browsing (Safari), In Private (Internet Explorer) mode.
- Information that you browse while the Peerbelt’s extension is disabled
Security and confidentiality
We make every effort to protect the 10 or so best hits you contribute. Still no online communication is known to be 100% secure. But regardless of this fact, you are still protected by our service anonymity and aggressive content filters.
Limited set of Peerbelt’s employees and contractors may have access to the data you contribute. They differ form the general public though. All Peerbelt staff has confidentiality obligations as part of their contract. They may be subject to discipline, including termination or criminal prosecution as a result of failure to meet the contractual obligations.
During the two-week period we would like to hear your comments and concerns so we address them before the new policy was in effect.
Being founder of Peerbelt, I view this policy as a personal commitment to every single present or future user. Hence, the policy was manually written by me and not outsourced to a legal representative.
As stated before, all your comments are welcome @peerbelt or email@example.com.
Krassimir, the Peerbelt founder
PS: You can also write and send a physical letter to:
Peer Belt Inc
8 1/2 Davis Street Unit B
Harrison, NJ 07029 (USA)
Last modified August 30th, 2013 (plain terms policy; SPAM wording use)