Apr 6, 2022

Our Investment in Kanary

Kanary scans the internet, shows which sites expose your information, and helps you protect your safety and wellbeing by removing it.

Alex Iskold

The internet is filled with our personal information. Simply put, the more we participate in this global digital creative, the more information there is.

Some of this information is what we choose to share: our names, our tweets, our photos, or our professional profile.

But there is also a lot of information about us — our address, our phone number, data on our families, our health, our salaries — that we do not want shared publicly. Yet the reality is that some of this information slips through the cracks and ends up online anyways.

The uncomfortable truth is that private / personal information about us is being spread, distorted and amplified by so called “information brokers”. These brokers crawl the web 24/7/365, collect any info they can get their hands on, and construct profiles that they re-sell to advertisers, hackers, and anyone else who is willing to pay for it.

If this sounds scary, it’s because it truly is.

When I first looked at a few of these sites and saw my profile, I was disgusted. Never mind that the price of my house and my salary where grossly distorted, I was shocked to see my wife’s cousin linked to us publicly, along with private health information.

The good news is that US law requires all these broker sites to reply to take down requests. So technically, I can go to such broker site, and either fill out a form or send an email request to take down my personal information.

The bad news is that there are hundreds upon hundreds of these sites and new ones pop up every day.

So, how can anyone possibly stay on top all of them?

Enter Kanary, an ambient, cloud-based agent that protects your information online.

Kanary has created a simple interface and a sophisticated backend that constantly scans the web and automatically submits takedown requests to these information brokers.

With Kanary, I have peace of mind - the app constantly monitors my internet exposure, finds information on questionable sites, alerts me, and requests automatic take downs. Kanary shares the progress with me every week.

When I first signed up for the service, it literally identified hundreds of sites with copies and distortions of my personal information. Today, there are only a handful left and Kanary tirelessly is going after them.

Kanary was created by Rachel Vrabec, a political science alum from Northwestern turned engineer. Rachel is an advocate and a champion for personal privacy and security online. Since launching, she’s been joined by Jordan Patterson, Kanary’s CTO and former TechStars founder.

Today, what Kanary offers is just scratching the service of what Rachel and Jordan envision: an end-to-end personal privacy and security app for the modern internet user.

Kanary offers to protect not only you, but also your family. With the family plan, you can tell Kanary to remove information for your teenagers and for your aging parents who might not be able to do it themselves, but increasingly are being targeted.

Kanary's enterprise plan helps companies protect their executives and employees from the information brokers.  2048 Ventures is proud to be both the pre-seed lead investor and a customer - all members of our team are now protected by Kanary. You can get the enterprise plan for your company here. And we encourage you to read what members are saying about the experience.

In addition, Kanary also offers an API that helps companies embed Kanary’s scans and removals into their own app.

Rachel and the whole Kanary team are working on a mission to empower all of us to have better control over our personal information. We are thrilled to be involved and help build this important company.

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