Answers to common questions about how Freedom works.
How Does Freedom Work?
Freedom works by blocking content locally on your devices. On our desktop clients, we use a combination of a local proxy, and browser plugins (soon to be released), which effectuate the block locally on your computer. On our iOS client, we use a "local VPN" that blocks content directly on the device. Our blocking mechanism does not send any of your traffic off of your machine, to our network, etc.
Does Freedom Track my Browsing?
Freedom does not track or record your browsing or app behavior on our desktop or iOS clients. When your traffic passes through the blocking proxy/local VPN, no logs are created, stored, saved, transmitted, etc. The blockers look for matches on the websites accessed, and make realtime block/no-block decisions. Nothing is transmitted off of the device.
When does Freedom app sync with the Freedom.to service?
Freedom syncs with the cloud for a few reasons:
- When you log in, so it can authenticate you.
- When you create/update blocklists
- When you start a session/schedule a session
The purpose of our syncs are to send the device your blocklist, and to inform it when a session starts/ends. We do not upload any personal data from the clients to the Freedom.to service.
Our Design Philosophy
We have designed Freedom following the Privacy By Design guidelines. Privacy By Design is a user-centric approach to privacy that utilizes techniques like data minimization, good defaults, etc. in designing privacy-protective technologies. By not creating logs of browsing data, for instance, we minimize privacy risk across the system.
While there are many customers who do not want their browsing behavior tracked, a significant portion of our customer base does want these features so they can have feedback on how they are spending their time, proactive blocking, etc. To address these needs and balance privacy risks, we'll employ the Privacy by Design approach of good defaults, opt-in, data minimization, and being clear about what we're tracking.