Business models that reinforce trust, transparency and privacy
Exploring privacy-first business models for the digital era


2018 was the year the term “surveillance capitalism” was coined to express the invasive nature of modern digital business practices driven by data. Although data analytics brings new possibilities for governments, organisations, and citizens to innovate, there is growing concern that business models based on data extraction by any means necessary have become the norm.

Privacy regulations such as the GDPR combined with the so-called “techlash” — the growing mistrust in technology companies — has sparked the emergence of a new kind of business model. These are companies that prioritise privacy, trust, and transparency as core business values over profit and growth. This Digital Future Society report explores the origin and function of these “privacy-first” companies, examining how their emerging business models challenge the data-extractive paradigm that currently drives the digital economy.
You can run a profitable company without a surveillance business model
Gabriel Weinberg, Founder of DuckDuckGo