While most people choose to use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) for security reasons, one of the most important aspects of a good VPN is the ability to guarantee the privacy of client data.
Very few VPNs can provide assurances to their clients regarding the information they submit online or their internet browsing activity. And even others that claim to adhere to the privacy requirements do so in vain for the purposes of attracting customers while in reality, they collect and log client data, which they then sell to interested third parties.
Genuine providers will often state whether they log any client data and provide reasons for doing so. But as most users find out, very few are clear about their ‘ no log’ policy. One of the most popular VPN service providers, NordVPN is among the few, and this is backed by top VPN service reviewers that took the time to do a thorough evaluation of their service.
Reasons why some VPN providers log client data
Most VPN providers that collect client data try to use the excuse of legal requirements so that they can use the data for other purposes. Users should check the legal requirements for VPN services in the given country personally to verify their claims.
- Client data is one of the most marketable products in the information age, where nearly all business can be conducted online. VPN service providers that sell client data claim to do so anonymously (without disclosing the specific details of each client), but still, this is not easy to digest for some clients, which is why they only go for ‘no log’ services.
- From the perspective of legal requirements, this is basically a KYC (know your customer) policy that most governments require internet service providers to enforce. Ideally, this policy has been used to foil cases of terror attacks, cybercrime, and money laundering, among others.
- Some providers also log client data as a precautionary measure in case the government or legal authorities need to use it in court proceedings.
How can you identify untrustworthy VPN providers?
In the process of doing a thorough evaluation of the service provider, the key is checking whether their statements regarding client data and logging policy portray any vague messages. If the statement is absent in totality, then that is a clear sign that the VPN service provider is unreliable from the perspective of client privacy.
Another thing that clients can look at is the headquarters of the service provider. Check the requirements set forth by the government regarding VPN services and the logging of client data. If the country demands that client data must be logged, then it does not matter what the VPN service providers say on their website because they are required to log user data.
And finally, clients can check what the current, past users say about the service. If there is any hint of logging of client data in the reviews, then more research should be done to determine what kind of data the VPN service provider collects.