What is the Idka service

Idka is a Swedish word meaning “doing” or “accomplishing” something. We want to enable and inspire people to take control over their information, protect their privacy and escape the Stalker Economy.

Idka has all the usual social platform functionality, and then some. It is easy to post, chat, converse, upload and store text, pictures videos and other materials. Available on the web as well as on iOS and Android mobile platforms. Use Groups to organize topics, activities and projects and use Circles to easily share with groups of people.

The storage function is truly unique and integrated into the social features. If you create a group, you have also created a unique storage attached to that group. No need for Dropbox or any complicated “add-on” cloud service. If you have a contact, you also have a unique storage in common with the contact. Just like that.

There is no advertising, we do not sell or commercialize your data, nor do we share it or make you share it unintentionally.

We do not ask for shared ownership or the right to use any of your data. Since we do not sell it, we do not need this. It is your data and not ours, and all is kept safe and private.

There are no public addresses in Idka, which means you cannot find Idka users in Google/Bing or other searches.

Everything on Idka can be edited or deleted, content as well as chats and posts. Delete means real delete. All unwanted information will be removed from our servers and are gone forever.

A private chat, or a post chat cannot be extended by anyone to include other people. A group can be open, closed or hidden. If it is closed, it can never be made open, but only hidden (only be “stricter” in privacy terms - i.e. go from open to closed to hidden, and not the other way), and so the list goes on, in order to protect you and your privacy.

At the start we already have extensive functionality. But this is just that; a start. There is much more to come.

If you agree with us, join Idka and bring your friends and family with you!

be social, stay private

Why is Idka necessary?

Idka (Idka AB) is company based in Stockholm, Sweden, started by three individuals who care about privacy, individual freedoms and the right to live lives without unrestrained, invasive commercial exploitation. You can only express yourself freely if you know whom you communicate with and how the information is used!

We find it unacceptable that, as we use social networks, our entire lives are listened to, tracked, stored, combined with data from other sources, aggregated, analyzed and then used to groom/limit our news feed; sell us products; deny us services; expose our opinions, our whereabouts and our family and network of friends.

In fact, today we live in a Stalker Economy with uncontrolled and unchecked exploitation of our private lives. Most people are not aware of the extent of this data collection and use and so are following the flow without knowing the perils.

Today, most people are using social media services such as Facebook, Google+, Renren, Weibo, WeChat, SnapChat, Instagram, Twitter etc., as well as other messaging and cloud storage services. It has become part of our lives. Since everyone uses these services, it must be safe and Ok to use?

Many services know where you surf, what you write, who you share with and what you share, and may be able to infer your health status, personal interests and preferences, your political opinions, who your parents are, your children, your friends, who is in your phone book, as well as where you are and have been and what you buy. They read your documents, emails, chats and sms’s. Some even listen to what you say on the phone. They employ the most cunning techniques to make you share and divulge information about yourself and your activities.

All this information is aggregated, analyzed and structured using “big data” techniques. Very few understand how much such information can tell about you and your life choices, political views, creditworthiness, health status, hobbies, habits (unhealthy, risky, dangerous…), activities and so on, and how this can be used.

This information is worth an enormous amount of money and is traded in absolutely uncontrolled ways. The information may and will be used to offer or deny you services or benefits and to control what news you receive, what ads, articles and information you see in your feed among other things.

The service providers call this tailor-made, interest-based, personalized and improved services, but they are just as much limiting your choice and opportunities and expose you to increased commercial pressure as well as the possibilities of becoming a target of unwanted and sometimes criminal activity. It may influence your ability to get credit, rent an apartment, get a public benefit or subsidy, a job or…. The list is long and getting longer every minute.

To us, this is unacceptable, and we would rather pay a small monthly sum to protect our privacy and freedom, than to be exploited by these seemingly free services. We say “seemingly free” because it is actually costing us a lot. If a service is free, it is because you are the product!

What you pay is the value of your personal information that these services collect “for free” and then monetize it in all possible manners.

Therefore, we have developed the social platform Idka to offer people a place where you can share, collaborate and store information without sacrificing or giving away your privacy.

Join us and free yourself from exploitation and tracking. Express yourself freely.

Our slogan is:

be social, stay private

More on privacy and the 'Stalker Economy'

The crucial idea of privacy was probably first thought through by Aristotle as he talked of the distinction between the public sphere of political activity and the private sphere associated with family and domestic life. Ever since, privacy has been a central tenant in building free democracies.

Privacy means the right not to be subject to unauthorized invasion of one’s private sphere by governments or unwanted exploitation by corporations. It has been an important value in most civilizations and one of the fundamental freedoms that many have fought for, at great costs sometimes.

However, today, many people seem to have forgotten or sold out on the idea that what you do, who your friends are, how you feel, what your preferences are, who you meet with or what your thoughts are should be private to you, your family or your friends, so that you may live and enjoy your life without fear of unjust surveillance, interference, pressure, judgment or exploitation by governments or corporations, or even, as is the case, be denied services by private or public agencies.

The advent of Internet and social media has brought on a lot of enjoyable, truly helpful and beneficial services and functions enriching our lives. However, as with many good things, there are negative sides too, and with social media, serious negatives. It has enabled the 'Stalker Economy' to develop and flourish more or less unchecked.

Today, most people are using social media platforms, messaging and cloud storage services. Most of the services used are based on one thing and one thing only: gather as much information about you, your health, activities, interests, friends, children, parents and so, and then use it to promote commercial activities directly or to sell this information to the highest bidder so that third parties can earn money on you directly or indirectly.

Additionally, there is another class for companies that you do not see, hiding behind every site and service you visit. These ‘data scrapers’ may not provide an outward service but stalk your activity on the web, collecting data, which they collate, analyze, and then sell the same way social media services do, but sometimes in other ways not known to you or me. Most social media services purchase information from these players adding this to the already overwhelming amount of information they have on their users.

The creativity with respect to what and how information is gathered, collated and analyzed, knows no boundaries, and is fueled by the very high value of the information.

This information is so valuable that those who sit on it are the most valuable companies in the world today. What is more, the trade in this information is absolutely uncontrolled and there is a whole industry built around it, with many hundreds of players you have never heard of. The information is used to sell you products; analyze your creditworthiness and give or deny you loans; determine your health benefits and insurance status; your government unemployment or disability benefits and travel restrictions (just to mention a few). And, it can also be used by criminals for identity theft, extortion, phishing, etc.

The stalker economy is growing very fast and is becoming an important industry in its own right. And there is more on the horizon. Nobody knows where it will end. In China, Alibaba’s affiliate Ant Financial Services Group, has constructed a credit score system built on information they collect on their users (eg. a matchmaking site is using this service). Furthermore, the Social Credit System is a Chinese government initiative for developing a national reputation system. Get that: “national reputation system”! Will this be used to deny you a job? A loan application? A passport or travel visa? One can but wonder where it will stop, although western democracies are far from this at the present time.

Another example is the service ‘Score Assured’. It is a service that strip mines your activities on the most common socials services. One of their services “Tenant Assured” sifts through your site activity, including all conversation threads and private messages, wall postings, instant articles, etc. and then runs it through natural language processing and other analytic software. The result is a report that catalogs everything from your personality to your “financial stress level” and other categories. In this one service, a score on a scale of 1 – 5 is given, where 5 means that you are “very low risk” in terms of paying your rent on time. If you have written about, discussed or visited eg. pay-day loans, you might not be able to get the place to stay you wanted. Granted, the service requires your consent, but, if the landlord requires you to give such consent in order to rent the flat or to continue to stay there? ...What choice do you have?

Yet another example of a company you have not heard of is just one of very many that spend large amounts of R&D resources into deep tracking: TAPAD. It was acquired by a Telco company in the spring of 2016, and it tracks, according to its CEO, "billions of data points across multiple screens — think mobile, PC, TV, and more as they come to market like watches, cars and so on — to gain a better sense of where consumers are going and what they are doing online". This is referred to as Lifelogging via digital footprints.

Do you want to stop this? There is something you can do!

Join Idka - be social, stay private