WTF with Sudo…

Wikileaks, Snowden, Google…what do you think when you see these? I’d be willing to bet the words ‘privacy’ or ‘control’ are in the mix. Or maybe more specifically, lack thereof. Why is that? If you, like me, feel the world is spinning out of control, with the line between personal and public information constantly being encroached, then you should know: You’re not alone.

According to the latest Pew Research survey on this issue, nearly 90% of Americans have “… a consistent lack of confidence about the security of everyday communication channels and the organizations that control them — particularly when it comes to the use of online tools. And they exhibited a deep lack of faith in organizations of all kinds, public or private, in protecting the personal information they collect.”

Hmmm…interesting how some of those opinions match our current sentiments about politics. Elections aside, the feeling is real. One of the results of this generalized view is further described in the report, which stated that “Some 74% say it is ‘very important’ to them that they be in control of who can get information about them, and 65% say it is ‘very important’ to them to control what information is collected about them.”

It’s with this thought in mind that we formed Anonyome Labs. Simply put, we believe that individuals should be in charge of their personal information — not large, faceless organizations. Our team has been thinking about this for years; our backgrounds run deep in cybersecurity, identity management, consumer apps, and cloud-scale architectures. We think we’re positioned to offer folks an alternative to the “resignation” so many of us have settled on.

Today, we launched two mobile IOS apps called SudoApp and SudoPay. If anything I wrote above resonates with you, or you’re just exasperated that WhatsApp is now sending your mobile number to Facebook, you need to pay attention. Seriously.

SudoApp 2.0 is an “all-in-one” app for creating and managing multiple identities — which we call“Sudos” (think of them as your avatar for anything). The app allows a user to spin-up or spin-down up to 9 Sudos with working phone numbers for calling or texting anyone, anywhere (whether they have SudoApp or not) — while also creating custom ‘one-tap’ email addresses. The app requires zero information about a user; there is no sign-up, no user name or password, and no mobile number to break a promise with. All Sudo-to-Sudo messaging is encrypted end-to-end, and your private key never leaves your device. We’ll be adding the same for email and calls later this year.

Best of all…it’s entirely free.

SudoPay 1.0 is our companion app that gives a user the ability to create and customize anonymous virtual credit cards. Funded with the ApplePay credit card on your phone, we generate MasterCard-branded virtual credits cards for use with any online product or service where you don’t want to leave all your personal information for the Russians or Google to mine later. We also allow you to send a “virtual credit card“ via text to anyone. We call it “digital cash for the internet” and it can be used on its own or in conjunction with SudoApp, to complete a full online profile.

Why would you ever use these apps? Maybe you’re one of these people:

  • A disaffected WhatsApp user who isn’t excited about handing over your mobile phone — and everything it’s connected to — to Facebook.
  • Someone who would like to create and delete temporary or permanent phone numbers for calling and texting business partners, sales people, customers or dating sites.
  • A consumer of goods and information who’d like the ability to create a profile to register for a service or loyalty program without being tracked, hacked, or spammed.
  • An avid online shopper who’d like to not have to change out your physical credit card — with all of your recurring payments detail — when your favorite site gets hacked.
  • A friend who’d like to send someone a personalized text message with ‘digital cash’ in it.

If you care about the inescapable loss of control over your personal data on the internet, and simply believe you’re the best person to make decisions about what and with whom you share information, you need to try these apps. In a world where the mobile phone providers are locking up not only the pipes, but the content that travels through them, maybe it’s time to shift the pendulum back to you, the individual. We think this is part of ‘what to fix’ using Sudo, and we’d love to hear what you think.

S.

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