WhatApp.org: Now In Beta

There's an app for everything these days. But users often don't have a complete picture of the applications they download and use. Privacy policies are technical or vague and seldom allow users to compare practices among different services. Too often users are compelled to forgo their privacy if they want to use a given online product or service. There is little ability to choose an application based on better privacy or security practices because there are few ways to learn that information at the time of download.

Indeed, ninety-one percent of respondents to a TRUSTe survey expressed a willingness to take further steps to safeguard their privacy if presented with usable tools.
WhatApp.org is an app review website that tries to do just that. WhatApp.org combines traditional consumer reporting and review tools with wikis, ratings, and news feeds to allow both savvy Internet experts and novices to share insights about privacy and security features. With nearly 200 applications from a diverse array of platforms (iPhone, Facebook, Twitter, Android, and Firefox), WhatApp.org aims to help fill the current market gap between consumer demand for privacy friendly applications and insufficient practices employed by many, though certainly not all, developers. Here's how to get involved:

1. Become an Expert Reviewer

WhatApp.org is currently seeking expert reviewers to rate and review applications on the basis of their privacy, security, and openness practices. Evaluate issues such as privacy polices, terms of service, security vulnerabilities, proprietary software and DRM. You can also use this opportunity to highlight good practices and plug your favorite privacy enhancing technologies. Help consumers make more informed decisions by registering as an expert here.

2. Register as an Application Developer

If you are an application developer, you can register here and claim your application. We’ve created dedicated space for “Developer Notes” for each application you develop, describing your products and practices, and add your perspective to engaging discussions about privacy, security, and openness issues.

3. Engage as a User

Users can participate in the Whatapp.org online community by contributing to the wiki and commenting on their experience using different applications. Register online to add content or simply search the site for information on apps you use.

You can contact the WhatApp.org team at whatapp@law.stanford.edu. WhatApp.org was made possible by a generous grant from the Rose Foundation.

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