About Us


The mission of Openly Operated is trust through transparency: to make online services as transparent as possible, in order to increase trust in the apps we all use. People shouldn't have to be in the dark about what's happening with their personal data, and companies should provide verifiable proof of their claims.


  • Simplicity - Keep things as simple as possible. The more complicated something is, the harder it is to understand, and the easier it is to obscure or hide problems and potential gaps. Document and explain things that cannot be simplified further.
  • Prudence - Go slow, and think through decisions for the long term. The failing method of "move fast and break things" naturally puts security and privacy in the backseat. When building and auditing products, ask: How can this design or feature be abused? How can you prove it won't be abused?
  • Transparency - Everything that is not private user data should be made public, with proof. This includes and is not limited to internal processes, source code, reports, updates, and explanations and reasons for how things work. Products should be so transparent that the user could rebuild the entire product by themselves if given enough time.


In 2017, we discovered that app stores were rife with abusive and scammy apps, and wrote an investigative piece on Medium that was read by over 500,000 people. We realized that all these abusive apps had privacy policies - which were full of lies. Even if App Store reviewers wanted to confirm whether or not the apps were abiding by their Privacy Policy, they couldn't. There's no standard for verifying that an app was being honest.

We found that everyone's just hoping for the best when it came to trusting apps online with their data. People were relying on things like how nice a company's website looks, or a privacy policy, or even price — all of which can be easily faked or copied. Since no standard existed, we set out to create one. This is how we came up with the concept of services that are Openly Operated™, a certification that creates trust through complete, verifiable transparency.

Learn More

User BenefitsA deeper look into the many benefits for users, with examples and references.

For CompaniesSee why companies and businesses also benefit from being Openly Operated.

How ToThe requirements for Openly Operated products, and how to get started.

About UsRead about the values, mission, origin, and creators of Openly Operated.

Get InvolvedDiscuss Openly Operated, transparency, the future of the web, and any related topics.