Cliqz buys Ghostery’s consumer operations
Munich, Germany, February 15, 2017: Cliqz GmbH, a German company owned by Mozilla and Hubert Burda Media, has acquired Ghostery’s consumer operations, which includes the popular brand, anti-tracking browser extensions and mobile apps, user-base and team from its parent company, Ghostery, Inc. Cliqz is a provider of innovative, privacy-focused browser technologies with integrated quick-search functionality. By combining algorithmic and blocklist anti-tracking approaches, Cliqz and Ghostery will together further raise the benchmark in privacy protection. The acquisition of Ghostery’s 10 million active users around the globe will spur Cliqz’s international growth.
Ghostery, Inc., will continue its enterprise-focused digital governance businesses under the parent company’s original Evidon brand.
The Cliqz and Ghostery browsers and browser extensions protect users effectively from leaking private data to trackers. The current practice of online tracking creates huge amounts of data that often contain unique data points that can be used to identify individual users and to monitor their behavior across websites. Even if collected for legitimate purposes, tracking data can be exploited by hackers and data traders or used by governments for monitoring. Once collected, data usually never gets deleted. Together, Cliqz and Ghostery redefine and strengthen the user’s role in the ecosystem.
“In these times of increasing monitoring and commercialization of private data, there’s a need for solutions that protect you from being tracked,” said Jean-Paul Schmetz, the founder of Cliqz. “Combining the best of two anti-tracking approaches, Cliqz will raise the benchmark in privacy protection. The 10 million Ghostery users around the world are a milestone on our way to becoming a global technology leader in privacy protection.”
Evidon CEO & Co-Founder, Scott Meyer added: “The sale marks the start of a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership with Cliqz. Evidon will be focused entirely on meeting the rapidly growing demand for our industry-leading Digital Governance solutions for Business. Cliqz is the perfect home for Ghostery. Being part of a consumer-focused company in Cliqz, consumers will enjoy an enhanced online privacy experience.”
As part of the transaction, Evidon will retain aggregated data about trackers that are contributed anonymously and voluntarily by Ghostery users. This ensures no change to the services currently provided by Evidon to its enterprise clients.
As Ghostery has been moved to the German jurisdiction, users benefit from one of the strictest and consumer-friendliest privacy laws in the world. Cliqz and Ghostery will combine algorithmic with blocklist anti-tracking approaches to the world’s leading privacy-protection technology. The combined technology will be implemented in both Ghostery and Cliqz products. It will improve website loading time by blocking common trackers and protect users from increasingly aggressive data gathering methods.
Browse and search privatelyCliqz doesn’t collect any data about individual users and protects users from being tracked by third parties when browsing the web. In addition, the Cliqz browser and browser extensions offer an innovative, anonymous quick-search function. As users type queries or website names, it shows website suggestions directly. Just one click and you are there. As Cliqz quick-search is strictly anonymous, it protects users while searching the web.
Beta versions of the privacy-enhancing Cliqz browsers for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS as well as the Cliqz Firefox extension are already are available for US-English free of charge at https://cliqz.com/products.
The free Ghostery desktop browser extensions are available for Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera. Mobile users can download the iOS or Android app free of charge at http://ghostery.com/products.
Even before the release of integrated products, users already can have a glimpse on the joint power of Ghostery and Cliqz anti-tracking by activating Ghostery in the Cliqz desktop browser, or by using both the Cliqz and Ghostery extensions for Firefox in parallel.
The mission of the German startup Cliqz is to redesign the Internet for the user by combining the power of data, browser, and search. In Munich, more than 100 experts from over 30 countries develop browsers and browser extensions with integrated search engines to bring users to their destination in the most direct way while protecting their privacy.
Jean-Paul Schmetz founded Cliqz GmbH in 2008. Since May 2013, Cliqz GmbH has been majority-owned by Hubert Burda Media, one of Europe’s leading media corporations. In August 2016, Mozilla joined as a strategic minority investor. With Cliqz for Firefox launched in June 2014, the concept of searching quickly via the browser gained traction fast with 900,000 daily active users in just a few months. The Cliqz browser for Mac and Windows with integrated anti-tracking launched in March 2016, quickly followed by apps for iOS and Android. In February 2017, Cliqz took over the consumer operations of Ghostery.
Ghostery is the first browser extension that makes your web browsing experience faster, cleaner and safer by detecting and blocking thousands of third-party data-tracking technologies – putting control of their own data back into consumers’ hands. Launched in 2009, Ghostery has more than seven million monthly active users who access the tool via the free apps or browser extensions. With its intuitive user interface, Ghostery enables average internet users to protect their privacy by default, while expert users benefit from a broad set of features and settings.
Headquartered in New York, the Ghostery apps and browser extensions are developed and operated by Ghostery, Inc., a fully-owned subsidiary of Cliqz GmbH. Cliqz is a German search, browser and data protection technology company backed by Hubert Burda Media. Neither Cliqz nor Ghostery share any data about individual users with third parties.