TunnelBear sells out to McAfee, violating user privacy

As noted on Hacker News, TunnelBear sold out to McAfee, you can click here to cancel your TunnelBear account. TunnelBear is a startup VPN service based in Canada.

There are lots of questions about customer data and privacy surrounding this sale.

What’s troubling is that TunnelBear collected multiple grants from the Canadian Research Council which provides funds for Canadian companies to conduct R&D to develop products and prototypes:

To add insult to injury, they collected tens of thousands of dollars in Q3 and Q4 of 2017 from the National Research Council of Canada:

$45,000 : https://nrc-cnrc.explorecatena.com/en/details/LOakjNa8v3uKlv…

$20,000 : https://nrc-cnrc.explorecatena.com/en/details/gk2Mb423DZh69n…

$20,000 : https://nrc-cnrc.explorecatena.com/en/details/wkBxj3BzKrhwr6…

This has been happening a lot in the last decade, there have been multiple Canadian companies that take taxpayer-funded grant money and then use it for whatever they want. I know at least two examples of startups that took money from a media fund (arts, music, film TV, radio) to build their startup, the rules for that media fund were tightening after that kind of abuse but not before millions of dollars were given away. This is taxpayer dollars funding misguided ventures.

And now we have $85,000 of taxpayer dollars doing R&D work for an American company, and we don’t even know how much TunnelBear sold for.

Our entire team will continue to be based in Toronto. McAfee is excited for us to continue to grow TunnelBear and we’re excited about their support.

So they’re going to continue to take advantage of the lower salaries in Toronto and use their American dollars which will go a lot further.

Will they be returning the $85,000 taxpayer dollars that they received?

Who owns the customer data?

Not only that, but all the customer data that TunnelBear has will now belong to McAfee. There are plenty of customers who don’t like this and avoid anything that McAfee produces.

What happens to this data, who owns it?

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