eBlockerYour privacy belongs to you, not the Internet, so consider the plug & play device eBlocker of the homonymous German startup that is planning to go into series production. With its current kick-starter campaign, the two founders Christian Bennefeld and Boris Prinz try to bring in the necessary investments for the eBlocker hardware.

The eBlocker device is aims to strengthen the freedom of choice for users in terms of tracking and advertising service providers by allowing to block unwanted advertisements. According to the company, all devices connected to the home network can be protected from unwanted tracking and data collecting without prior software installation.

The timing of the launch seems to be perfect, looking at recent studies that reveal users feel insecure in times of Big Data. And Adobe and Page Fair, an Irish startup specialized in ad blocking, for instance, claimed that anti-blocking software in 2015 led to a loss of USD 22 billion in the advertising industry, which is an increase of 41% compared to the previous year. Other studies confirm that unwanted advertisements are as unpopular as spam, providing just more facts the eBlocker device will definitely benefit from.

eblocker rgb c 2048There are two trusted methods of privacy protection - blocking and anonymization – and eBlocker delivers both, by:

Blocking third-party data collecting: Clever algorithms make the eBlocker an intermediary between router and connected devices, both wired and wireless. The small box compares all traffic to locally stored filter lists, which are updated on a daily basis. This prevents professional tracking services and data brokers, as well as online ad networks from tracking you. The filter lists consist of community-maintained open source lists as well as lists maintained by eBlocker. By checking URLs against these lists, the eBlocker detects whether there is a tracking service behind a web request. All tracking services are blocked and no data is disclosed to third parties. In addition, the filter lists are dynamically expanded by adaptive algorithms and are therefore always up to date. Users can add individual filter exceptions to allow certain websites to track data or to display ads (whitelisting).

IP anonymization via ‘Tor’: Even though blocking prevents third party websites from collecting private data, first party websites can still trace the user’s IP address in order to collect behavioral data. The reason is that a user’s IP address often remains unchanged for months, so that a continuous browsing history can be reconstructed very accurately. To avoid this, the eBlocker offers one-click Tor activation, enabling users to anonymize their IP address completely. Online privacy is fully protected only through the special combination of blocking and IP anonymization.

Unfortunately, the absolute privacy gained slows down the speed of the Internet connection a bit, but who just wants to bypass tracking and advertising could even expect a faster connection, since the advertisement wouldn’t have to load for display, eBlocker states.

eBlocker´s USPs: eBlocker now delivers a solution that combines all necessary functionalities for privacy protection with high consumer convenience. The eBlocker’s plug-and-play principle enables users to easily operate the device without any configuration or software installation, once it is physically connected to the home network. In addition to automatic configuration, the system is compatible with all network devices, works with every Internet provider, and supports all operating systems, apps, and browsers. Another plus is that the eBlocker is multi-user capable, enabling every family or household member to pre-set personal preferences, add individual exceptions, and actively allow certain websites to track or to display ads.

Interestingly, Christian Bennefeld, whose first company e-tracker collects user data, earns now with eBlocker money by protecting private data. Times have changed, which explains the change of mind of the innovator. Today, his focus is primarily on privacy issues, although he funnily enough financed his new venture with the profits he had once earned with his older company that evaluates the user behavior of people on the Internet. E-tracker is actually exactly doing what privacy advocates criticize so vigorously.

Nowadays, however, Bennefeld believes that it is not okay to track people who surf the internet and leave countless records - about their preferences, purchase intentions, and sometimes even about their financial situation and their health problems. It’s not okay for him now, realizing that only a few people have sufficient background knowledge to evaluate what information they eventually disclose about themselves. And an even smaller faction doesn’t have sufficient technical knowledge to limit the amount of records left behind at least for a bit; or wouldn’t be able to take measures to keep reasonably control over what information is divulged or not.

While there is a right to privacy, enforcing it lies unfortunately today more and more in the hands of the individual. Thanks to the small eBlocker box, no ads, no tracking and total privacy is possible. The little box ensures that online advertising, as well as the tracking of user behavior is switched off and works automatically for all devices that are connected via this tool to the Internet. On request, even the IP address can be made anonymous, which is useful for particularly sensitive or personal searches -such as diseases, loans or pornography.
For two years, Bennefeld and his team of ten employees worked on the product they introduced at the CES 2016.  Get more information or download eBlocker here - for free!

By Daniela La Marca