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Privacy Service Keeps Debit Cards Anonymous. For Free

Credit and debit cards are often targeted by cybercriminals looking to harvest users’ credentials and details. Luckily, there is a new service (called Privacy) which will take care of users’ online transactions in a curious and innovative manner – by letting users run virtual or “burner” cards for online payments. For free.

Related: Danish Company Reports 100,000 Credit Cards Possibly Compromised


Privacy Service Works as a Google Chrome Extension

Privacy has been in a closed beta since March this year. It’s a free service that is installed as a Chrome extension. The service is only available online and works with Visa debit cards. What the user should do is simply link their bank account when they sign in.

The extension recognizes when the user is on a checkout page. The user will see its icon and that’s where the card information should be added. The user should click on the logo and they will be presented the option to create a new virtual card. The card can be reused with the retailer, or terminated after a single transaction, as explained by Digital Trends.


What Happens Once a Card Is Generated?

Privacy is set to generate a random debit card number, security code, and expiration date. This information will be connected to merchants in case the user wants to reuse the card. Furthermore, the anonymous credit card number enables the user to use whatever name and billing address they want. Thanks to this, the user is the only one who has the debit card information.

According to Bo Jiang, CEO and co-founder of Privacy, the service also protects users from debit card fraud and identity theft. In a conversation with Digital Trends, Jiang has also said that:

It boils down to giving control back to you as the consumer. You can definitely limit subscriptions … you don’t have to worry about data breaches anymore if such-and-such merchant gets hacked.

Why is the service free? The company has succeeded to make it this way because it takes a cut of the interchange fee with its issuing banks and Visa.

Privacy is already available and can be used anyone. It will soon offer support for Firefox, Safari, Android Pay, and Apple Pay.

Milena Dimitrova

An inspired writer, focused on user privacy and malicious software. Enjoys 'Mr. Robot' and fears '1984'.

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