Privacy Manatee is a premium ad-blocking extension to be built on the popular Privacy Badger platform from EFF. In the free edition, it will work just as Privacy Badger does, blocking tracking cookies and code. For those that purchase the premium edition, it will pay websites to deliver a clean tracking free version of their site. Paying websites incentivizes them to deliver advertising and tracking free experiences for users without the fear of lost advertising revenue.
Why Manatees? Manatees are docile creatures that live in the rivers, springs and ocean around Florida in the Southern United States. They used to be on the endangered species list as man intruded into their environment. Currently they are still "threatened" and need protection from intrusion. Just like you want privacy in your surfing habits on the web, manatees need privacy in their homes in the waterways of the Sunshine State.
How does it work? When a user installs the Premium blocker, it downloads thousands of "privacy pellets." These pellets are then used to feed websites you go to and those websites can in turn, redeem those pellets for money (the same money you used to purchase the premium version). The privacy pellets use advanced encryption techniques to preserve the privacy of the users. We're using the anonymous token technology already developed by Microdesic and using their API and back end systems (with some minor modifications). As long as the pellets are used appropriately, neither Privacy Manatee nor the websites you visit can link them to you or the other websites you surf.
Chicken and Egg or Manatees and Pellets? Since this is a new service, no websites will be accepting the pellets to start with. In addition to the FireFox Extension, we will be starting out with a Wordpress plugin that will allow Wordpress sites to accept pellets from visitors. Our incentive program will actually pay more to early adopting websites, to help encourage them to join and offer a clean tracking free experience for their visitors.
Kickstarter Here We Come!
We're raising money to help build a Firefox extension (based on Privacy Badger) and a Wordpress plugin. Our plan is in 2017 to launch a Kickstarter to fund initial development of the extension and plugin as well as do some scalability testing on the back systems. To the extent that funding allows, we'll may develop Chrome and Opera extensions and look at some additional server support technology. Here are some funding option levels that we're considering.
- $1 Supporter - Get a thank you email and our appreciation of your support.
- $5 Premium Supporter - Get a Privacy Manatee sticker for your laptop.
- $10 Beta Tester - Get an advanced copy of the Premium Blocker and help us test it out. You'll get as many tokens as you need during the test phase.
- $35 Block Supporter - Receive the Premium Blocker and enough Privacy Pellets to last a year (whatever that ends up being based on our estimates of average web usage). The Pellets will be good for a year from the issue date.
- $50 Fat Block Supporter - Receive the Premium Blocker and enough Privacy Pellets to last a year.... but those Pellets are good for two years! And we'll throw in a Privacy Manatee sticker if you want one.
- $100 Big Fat Block Supporter - Receive the Premium Blocker and enough Privacy Pellets to last two years .... but those Pellets are good for five years until you run out. Plus you'll get a handful of Privacy Manatee stickers and a plush Manatee.
- $1000 Patron - You'll receive a lifetime supply of Privacy Pellets, as long as we're in business, you'll get them.
- $10,000 Patron Saint - You'll receive our undying devotion and two lifetime supplies (one for you and one to give away).
Please sign up for the invite to our Kickstarter launch by using the form above. We'd love to be one of those overnight successes that gets funded in only one day. But we can't do that without your support. You can also follow us on Twitter or feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have suggestions or questions.