Privacy Tool Makes It Harder For ISPs To Track You

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Internet users' level of privacy, or lack thereof, has come to national attention in the wake of Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal. But it's not just Facebook that has been mining and selling your data. Internet service providers collect a lot of data about their customers' browsing habits. Understandably, many people aren't happy with that extra layer of scrutiny.

Website performance company Cloudflare decided to tackle this issue and announced Sunday a privacy tool called 1.1.1.1., designed to help protect users from the watchful eyes of their ISPs. It works by letting Cloudflare take over the process of resolving requests to the Domain Name System—the behind-the-browser way of matching a URL to a numeric IP address—whenever a user visits a website. Normally your ISP takes care of the DNS for its users, logging information in the process. Take away that responsibility and they have less access to your information.

The 1.1.1.1. service is free and can be accessed for both desktop and mobile. This might ring some users privacy alarm bells, however. Typically, when an online product or service is free, the user data is the real commodity.

The company has promised it will not be collecting user data with this tool. The company is working with third-party auditors from KPMG to ensure that no inappropriate data collection is occurring.

"At no time will we record the list of where everyone is going online," Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told CNET. "That's creepy."

But what's in it for Cloudflare? The company's main business is improving website performance. A side effect of the 1.1.1.1. tool is increased internet speed, which helps the company achieve their main business goals.