Our Privacy Policy and what it means for you

Posted on September 7th, 2018 by in Proton Stories.


This article highlights some of the main points of our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions of Service. Below we explain our policies and how they commit us to protecting your privacy.

No logs

When you use a VPN, they essentially become your new Internet Service Provider meaning they can see all your online activity. This is why using a trusted VPN service provider is so crucial to maintaining your data privacy. Dubious VPN services can record your online activity and then sell it to advertisers.

We do not keep any logs of users’ online activity and we cannot be forced to keep any logs under Swiss law. While it is true that article 21 al. 2 of the OSCPT (the law governing Swiss electronic surveillance) requires telecommunication companies to store data for up to six months, this is generally only applied to major telecommunication companies, and there is an exemption for organizations like Proton VPN and we have been registered under this exemption.

No data sharing

We do not sell user data to third parties. Thanks to our no-logs policy, we have no record of users’ activity to share with third parties. Information that users give us to create their account (such as email addresses, user names, and payment details) will never be shared with any third parties.

While we are obligated to cooperate with legally binding requests from Swiss courts, the only information we have on a user’s activity is the timestamp from their most recent login. Because of our Swiss jurisdiction, your data always remains under the protection of Swiss privacy laws, which are among the strongest in the world. To date, we have not received any court order, and we publish and keep up to date our transparency report.

No reselling of bandwidth

Some VPN providers support their free service by reselling bandwidth. In a particularly notorious case, users on the free plan would have their internet connection used by third parties. Proton VPN has not and will not ever engage in this type of behavior, and it would be a gross violation of our Privacy Policy. Our free plans are supported by other means as discussed later.

The fact that we don’t give third parties access to your internet connection can be independently verified. By monitoring your computer’s network activity (using an application like Wireshark for example), you can easily see if there is unauthorized network activity.

Free accounts are community supported

We believe privacy is a fundamental right, and our mission is to make online privacy accessible to everyone at no cost. This is why we are committed to maintaining a free version of Proton VPN. However, like with Proton Mail, we do not take any actions to try to monetize our free users.

In order to run our service, Proton VPN’s free VPN users are subsidized by paid users as well as community donations. While the free accounts do not have access to premium features, they provide a secure, private connection to the Internet. While Proton VPN paid accounts may be slightly more expensive than average as a result, they serve an important purpose by making Internet privacy available for millions who otherwise might not be able to afford it.

Privacy backed by law

As a company with a significant number of users that live in the EU, we must be mindful of the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. This means that by law, in our privacy policy, we must disclose all the organizations that we share user data with. In our Privacy Policy we state explicitly that we not keep any record of your online activity. We also state that user data is not shared with external third parties.

If we breach our stated policies, we would be breaking the law, and under GDPR, subject to fines up to €20 million. Because we are an European company, and we are one of the few VPN providers who is completely transparent about who we are, we are one of the only VPN providers willing to truly put our privacy policy up to legal scrutiny.

We fully stand behind our mission to protect your privacy. Our privacy policy isn’t just words, but it is also a legally binding commitment that we are making to you. In the end, informed users are in a better position to secure their data. This is our mission, above all else.

Best Regards,
The Proton VPN Team

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Prior to joining Proton, Richie spent several years working on tech solutions in the developing world. He joined the Proton team to advance the rights of online privacy and freedom.

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