VPN services always claimed to protect the user privacy; however, oddly it often finds itself in a controversy. This time around, it is one of the oldest and biggest services, Hotspot Shield, is accused of leaking private data of the users.
Digital rights group, Center for Democracy and Technology (CDT) has alleged Hotspot Shield of violating the privacy of the users. As a result, it has asked the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to scrutinize the parent company of Hotspot Shield i.e. Anchorfree. The request is made particularly for investigating ‘unfair and deceptive trade practices’.
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How did Hotspot Shield tamper the user data?
As per the advocacy group:
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Anchorfree rubbishes the allegations
Amid all these accusations, the parent company of Hotspot Shield, Anchorfree has denied all the claims. It stated that it has ‘zero knowledge’ policy, which implies it doesn’t take any recognizable information from its clients dreading government request.
However, contrary to the claim of CDT, the group does log data which is secured from its users. It is relevant to mention that 97% of the whopping 500 million users utilize the free version of Hotspot Shield.
Essentially, VPN services are advertised as the first step towards having private connections. It has the ability to protect the users from their ISPs and from those websites which tracks user’s information.
It remains to be seen whether VPN services are transparent enough as they claim to be. Only further investigations and time will tell about it.