Guardian Mobile Firewall, the new smart firewall app that is currently in a closed beta test, will be made available soon, filtering and blocking traffic that breaches the user’s privacy.
A news outlet, citing Founder Will Strafach, a security researcher and former iPhone jailbreaker, reported that the company – along with Co-founder Joshua Hill and Chief Operating Officer Chirayu Patel – is readying the app, which is aimed at protecting the privacy of online consumers.
“We’re in a ‘wild west’ of data collection, where data is flying out from your phone under the radar — not because people don’t care, but there’s no real visibility, and people don’t know it’s happening,” Strafach said in an interview.
The firewall funnels all of the iPhone and iPad traffic through a virtual private network, which is encrypted to Guardian’s services. As a result, the Guardian app can spot – almost in real time – when another app is secretly sending a device’s tracking data to a third party, warning the user and giving him or her the ability to stop the action as it's happening. The aim of the firewall is not to stop a fake or questionable app from working, but to alert users and give them a choice as to how their data is used.
Strafach noted that the app should be viewed like a junk email filter, but for web traffic. A future iteration will enable the user to block or change their geolocation, and eventually will tell users how many times an app can access device data, such as contact lists.
The report noted that the team behind Guardian Mobile Firewall plans to continue developing machine learning models so they can identify new threats, such as aggressive ads that take over mobile browsers and redirect the user to a different web page or app. Down the road, users will be able to go into lockdown mode, at which point the app will deny bad traffic until the user steps in.