Over the past six weeks I’ve discussed alternative tools to help protect users’ privacy in various circumstances. From online browsing to email, I’ve attempted to provide user-friendly, privacy-oriented alternatives to mainstream products. In the wide world of software, there is an entire ecosystem of open source products ready to fill almost any niche use case. Today, I would like to highlight a few products for a variety of devices and applications that I think are interesting and useful.
FreeTube: FreeTube is a desktop app that allows you to play YouTube videos without Google tracking. You can easily import your entire YouTube subscription list and subscribe to more channels directly through the app. Because FreeTube stores watch data on your computer and never on a third-party server, your viewing habits are not recorded and sold by Google.
AsteroidOS: AsteroidOS is a free and open source operating system for smart watches. With an open source operating system like AsteroidOS, you don’t have to sacrifice your privacy to experience the added functionality that comes with wearable technology.
Blender: Blender is a free and open source 3D animation tool. As someone who is not quite artistically inclined, I’m in awe of what people are able to create in blender. They have a dedicated PeerTube instance (video.blender.org) where you’ll find plenty of tutorials and guides. You can scroll through their subreddit to see some of the incredible work people have created in blender.
Plausible: Plausible is a privacy-focused alternative to Google Analytics. Plausible’s cookie-free site analytics tool allows your site to gather analytics data while maintaining simplified GDPR compliance. Because the data collected by Plausible is not sold to third parties, all site analytics are kept in the hands of the website owner and visitor data is kept private.
Standard Notes: Standard Notes is a cross-platform encrypted notes app. The added level of protection encryption provides to a notes app allows for a more secure platform to express your fleeting thoughts and ideas.
Pixelfed: Pixelfed is a decentralized Instagram alternative. Pixelfed’s continued development has really impressed me. With a dedicated mobile app in the pipeline, I think now is the best time to begin exploring the possibilities of decentralized photo sharing. A list of instances, or servers, can be found at beta.joinpixelfed.org.