As our lives move online an immense amount of data is being created. During 2020, the average person created 312MB of data every hour. But even though we are the ones generating data, we are not the ones in control. Despite the widespread discussions around the topic, users can’t really know what’s happening behind the scenes.
There is an EU-based start-up, Rita, which is tackling this issue. Being the first mobile app that presents users a dashboard of the information that companies have collected from them. Rita is a personal data tool that gives you data ownership. The App, which recently reached 20 thousand users in less than 3 months, makes it easy for anyone to collect, view, and control their personal information.
A Rita user can see their Google and Facebook data and then choose who can have their personal data and who can’t. Rita doesn’t access the user’s information, allowing you to manage your online experience in total privacy.
For the first time, you can truly own your data and be in the driving seat. Using Rita, you are presented with your data from websites like Google and Facebook in an intuitive dashboard. Rita’s dashboard shows users: what their data is worth, how they are tracked around the web, which companies have access to their data, and how they are being profiled for ad targeting.
“You don’t need to be a data engineer to understand your data, Rita makes it accessible to anyone.”– said the Co-founder Guglielmo Schenardi.
After seeing the dashboard, you then choose which companies you don’t trust or don’t interact with, and the app makes sure access to your information is restricted. This feature supports users in effortlessly exercising their data protection rights. When you choose to restrict a company, Rita sends a right to be forgotten request to that company. These companies then have 30 days to comply with the request and delete all the information they’ve collected from you.
“For us, it’s all about giving users the choice. Because having the liberty to choose, is the freedom missing on the internet.“ said the Co-founder John Arts.
Other ways in which Rita users can play an active part in the decision-making include; easily unsubscribing from emails and choosing which ads they don’t want to see. All of Rita’s features are available for free. Rita Pro users, still in Beta testing, will be provided with additional convenience, guidance, and support, such as status updates and automated email follow-ups.
“Our users are really shocked when they see the value of their data, it’s quite a unique experience and they take action in just two clicks,” said Schenardi. “They don’t believe it is true sometimes”.
The solution is completely privacy-safe. Pioneering in Edge computing, Rita never stores or accesses any personal information the user collects. All personal data is stored securely and locally on the user’s local devices where it’s extracted and presented.
Both Rita’s features and name are inspired by the GDPR. The name Rita is derived from the Right To Access, which lies at the core of the company’s mission: allowing users to choose who can access their data.
Rita is a remote-native company, founded by recent graduates, both younger than 24. John and Guglielmo started working on Rita during their studies back in spring 2018, currently the team of 7 consists of 7 nationalities. The global and remote team is brought together by their passion for data and making it accessible to everyone.
In the next few months, Rita will be adding more information sources such as Instagram, Spotify, and Linkedin. Also, their focus will lie in optimizing the success rate of the restrict feature. The team’s ambition is to establish Rita as the go-to place for data management, in the future they would like to explore in what other ways users can benefit from their data.
From today onwards, Rita supports users in owning their data on both Android and iOS.
“When we talk with our users they are really surprised to see how much is their data value with them”
Rita, is a remote-native Privacy Startup, on a mission to give users data ownership. Founded in 2019, Rita is the first company that allows users to understand and control their data in a central place. The Antwerp-based firm is backed by a young and remote team of data enthusiasts.