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VPN provider Hide My Ass promises no more user logging

11 May 2020

Avast-owned VPN provider HMA (Hide My Ass) is backing increased user privacy by rolling out a new ‘no logging policy (NLP)’, that the company believes will help it to become an advocate for consumer privacy.

HMA took the first step in its customer privacy journey in 2019, after announcing that it would no longer collect its users’ IP addresses. This month’s announcement further expands the company’s commitment.

HMA’s no logging policy will be audited by cybersecurity firm VerSprite, which will verify the disconnection of online usage and transmission data from personally identifiable information (PII) that HMA stores for legal and billing purposes. 

HMA states that this audit process ensures that all online user activity remains private, even from the company itself.

HMA commercial director Andrei Mochola says the VPN industry is struggling with trust problems. 

“Consumers are unknowingly handing over their data to VPN companies with unclear ownership based in jurisdictions with questionable consumer protection laws. There are VPN providers claiming to offer no logging when all they are offering is IP protection.”

Mochola says HMA built its no logging policy on a foundation of transparency. 

“As we enter a new chapter at HMA, our no logging policy is not the ceiling but the floor of our ambition.”

“We will add new privacy features such as advertiser anti-tracking which solves a very real problem for users, but currently goes beyond the scope of a traditional VPN. We see taking such steps as important for us to maintain our fight against censorship and we will continue to innovate to become a champion of privacy in the VPN market.”

HMA’s no logging policy applies to devices running Windows, Mac, Android, Android TV, iOS, and Linux. 

Support for Android TV rolled out in March 2020, to secure and protect internet connections to hide viewing habits from advertisers and internet service providers (ISPs).

“It’s not common knowledge that your viewing habits and your browsing history can be collected via a device like a Smart TV and used by third parties as part of the process to profile you,” explains Mochola. 

“The media box market is growing, and Android is a prominent platform for today’s smart TVs. Security, privacy and open access to online content and information is part of HMA’s DNA, so we built a product and user interface specifically designed for smart TVs to plug an existing gap that will give our customers more freedom and protection online.”

HMA’s security portfolio includes web proxy, an IP Checker, a DNS Leak Test and WebRTC Test. HMA VPN also provides an IP Refresh option to help users overcome blocks by cycling through new IP addresses, a system-wide kill switch, and split-tunnelling to let users choose which apps to secure through the encrypted HMA tunnel.