Before creating Lockdown, we were lucky to create some successful apps, so we were frequently approached by companies for potential partnerships. One day, we received a proposal that sounded too good to be true: "You could make $X,000 a month by doing nothing," they wrote, "just add this little piece of code and we'll handle the rest."
Free money? What's the catch? We were curious. We learned that the company that approached us was a data-mining company, and the "little piece of code" would secretly report a user's location, IP address, and usage patterns to their servers. They would then sell that user data to another third party, which could have been literally anyone: advertising firms, marketing companies, hostile state actors — who knows? Basically, they were asking us to secretly sell out our users.
We politely declined their offer, and did more research to discover that there were many, many data-mining companies cropping up to do exactly the same thing as them. We rejected their money, but what about other companies? It turns out, a lot of companies took the money, and today, many top downloaded apps are currently selling their users' data.
So we did what we felt was the right thing, and we built an app to fight back against the tracking. Since the tracking was happening in apps and not just the browser, normal ad-blockers wouldn't block them. Our solution was Lockdown, which blocks tracking, ads, and badware in all apps, not just the browser. Fast forward to today, over 100,000 people have used Lockdown to block over a billion tracking attempts — and we're just getting started.