iOS: I’m a big fan of apps that give you a bunch of useful privacy tools in a single, easy-to-use interface, which is why I think the free iOS app Jumbo is a must-have addition to your iOS arsenal.
With it, you can scrub Twitter, limit what others can see of your life on Facebook, delete your Google search history, and purge all of Amazon’s recordings of your conversations with Alexa. (Data privacy controls for your Instagram and Tinder accounts are “coming soon.”)
I’m most impressed with the app’s simplicity — and price. It’s completely free for you to use; I’m amazed there’s no “pay us $3 to unlock more services” premium bullshit. While that’s not to say it might not appear some day, Jumbo was completely free to use as of when we wrote this article.
Even the app’s cutesy splash screens really try to keep privacy at the forefront of the conversation. While the app does the customary “will you let us send you notifications about updates” prompt, it pre-prompts you with a little pledge about how it’s not going to annoy you if you agree to receive notifications. (The standard iOS notifications permission prompt pops up after you see this image.)
“We never collect, store or process data you manage through Jumbo. In fact, we don’t even know who you are.
I think this is the most fundamental decision we have made while building Jumbo: the application and its functionalities are phone-based: this means that all the data processing happens from/in your iPhone. This means that we do not collect nor access any of your personal information when you use Jumbo, not even to identify you for analytics purposes.”
If you feel comfortable about that — I did — then start linking your accounts by tapping on each “section” within the app.
Each service comes with different options for scrubbing your data. Using Twitter as an example, I was able to tell Jumbo to delete any tweets older than one of four time periods: a day, a week, a month, or three months. As an added bonus, Jumbo offers to save any deleted tweets to the app itself (with support for Dropbox and iCloud backups also “coming soon”).
Once I had my options set up, and the Twitter switch was enabled in Jumbo’s primary screen, I only had to press the big “Start Cleaning” button to commence my Twitter purge. Off Jumbo went, deleting as many tweets as it could. If you have a ton of old tweets, this process could require multiple attempts over time (Twitter’s issue, not Jumbo’s).
That “Start Cleaning” button triggers the data-scrubbing activities for any services you’ve set up and enabled—an all-in-one kind of an approach that makes it easy to keep your accounts clean each time you return to the app.
As for the other supported services, Jumbo comes with three different privacy settings for Facebook — weak, medium, and strong — that each configure your account differently, including who can see content you’ve posted, who can find you on Facebook or see who you’re friends with, and whether Facebook can recognise you in others’ photos or videos (or serve you advertising based on your data).
Like Twitter, Jumbo can delete your Google search history. You can select to delete all of it, or any searches that are older than a day, a week, or a month (from when you trigger the app’s cleaning feature).
As for Amazon’s Alexa, Jumbo takes the direct approach: enable the feature, launch a cleaning, and all of your Alexa voice recordings will be scrubbed from the Amazon’s servers (one hopes).
And that’s it! You’ll need to run Jumbo’s cleaner manually whenever you feel like scrubbing your data — something you can create a monthly reminder for, if you so choose. Jumbo offers a great way to stay on top of your data privacy without having to log into your different services and manage everything manually.