Does PIA know who I am?

When signing up for this you have to provide your email and other identifying factors such as credit card name for payment. I'm wording if these are used to identify it's users.
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  • edited October 29 Posts: 455
    As far as payment, I think you can use bit-coin or other means. You have to check. Email can be a throw-away email if you want. Up to you.

    Mark Twain once said - "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything". It is up to you how much and what info you give PIA. Me personally, I hid nothing, and I wear an aluminum foil hat all the time. ;)
    Post edited by Omnibus_IV on
  • Posts: 14
    As far as payment, I think you can use bit-coin or other means. You have to check. Email can be a throw-away email if you want. Up to you.

    Mark Twain once said - "If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything". It is up to you how much and what info you give PIA. Me personally, I hid nothing, and I wear an aluminum foil hat all the time. ;)
    Not very helpful. You're not saying if they do or do not keep users emails and payment options
  • Posts: 455
    Then I apologize for not having that information.

    @PIAAustin
  • edited October 30 Posts: 8
    Bojack said:
    Not very helpful. You're not saying if they do or do not keep users emails and payment options
    With a little effort, and common sense, the answers can be found.

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/terms-of-service/ :

    "FEES

    You acknowledge that PrivateInternetAccess reserves the right to create a subscription service through one or more third party merchants. Payments will be charged on the day you sign up for service and will cover use of that service for the duration of one (1) month, six (6) months, one (1) year, or two (2) years depending on the service level plan. A subscription plan is an automatic payment recurring based on the service plan. All accounts are offered as is at the time of purchase. Future services offered by PrivateInternetAccess and London Trust Media, Inc. may not be included with the account. You may cancel the account subscription at anytime; the account will remain active for the remainder of your billing cycle. "

    The subscriptions are automatic payment recurring, so if you use a credit card to subscribe they will retain your credit card information in order to charge you for the next service/plan period (1 month, 6 months, 1 year, etc.)

    You can cancel your subscription: "Your automatic payments will be cancelled, but you will still be able to log in until Jan 1, 2017." Taken from 'Client Control Panel' and the Terms of Service (above).

    If you'd rather not use a credit card then (as Omnibus_IV alluded to): https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/buy-vpn/ :

    "Pay anonymously with many major brand gift cards
    FULLY ANONYMOUS • INSTANT ACCESS • 100% SECURE
    Starbucks, Walmart, Best Buy, and 100's of other gift cards accepted"

    If you choose to use a payment method other than a credit card, be aware that your ability to get a refund will be affected. 

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/terms-of-service/ :

    "REFUND POLICY

    If you are seeking a refund after paying for the Services via a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin, then you must provide to PrivateInternetAccess a Bitcoin Wallet for the refund to be credited. You understand and agree that all refunds for payments for Services made with a cryptocurrency other than Bitcoin shall be paid in Bitcoin. 

    You understand that by paying for PrivateInternetAccess using BitCoin as a transaction method, you are using a payment means that is not backed by an official governmental entity or international financial institution, and that the payment system may be prone to large fluctuations in value in a short period of time. The parties agree that any refunds for transactions using BitCoin will be assessed on the Bit Coin exchange rate to USD at the time of the refund disbursement, and not at the time of the original transaction or refund request. 

    Subscriber understands that refunds for gift-card based transactions are not available under any circumstances. "

    As for your e-mail address, yes they do retain the e-mail you provide when you sign up. As Omnibus_IV mentioned, you can create a throw-away e-mail account just for sign up. But keep in mind that part of the reason you provide an e-mail address is so the business can send you information.

    https://www.privateinternetaccess.com/pages/terms-of-service/ :

    "CLIENT RESPONSIBILITIES

    As a client of PrivateInternetAccess, you are responsible for:
    • Maintaining the confidentiality and security of the account you are provided.
    • Providing valid and accurate identifying information related to the user account."

    Hope you find that helpful. <span>:smile:</span>
    Post edited by p4031536 on
  • PIA will keep your billing information as they need that to process the payment.

    They also keep your email that is linked to your account so you can reset your password if needed. 

    Easy way to fix this.

    1) Buy some BTC online and then send it through a Mixer then pay for PIA.
    2) Download Tor and use a Tor email service to sign up.

    Easy.

  • Posts: 265
    PIA will keep your billing information as they need that to process the payment.

    They also keep your email that is linked to your account so you can reset your password if needed. 

    Easy way to fix this.

    1) Buy some BTC online and then send it through a Mixer then pay for PIA.
    2) Download Tor and use a Tor email service to sign up.

    Easy.

    In summary, pretty much that yeah ^

    We do our best to keep the accounts as anonymous as possible but there's cases like credit cards we can't really do anything because those payment methods inherently forces us to know who you are. On our end we still only store the unique ID from Stripe/Paypal/Amazon/Google because we need some way to know which account to add time to when a payment comes in, which can be used to trace back a customer. Cryptocurrencies + throwaway email is definitely the best way to make sure PIA have no idea who you are.

    Store gift cards are also a pretty good option as long as you manage to get them fairly anonymously (usually by paying cash or having a friend buy it for you).

    To address this we do our best to keep the link between accounts and connections as shortly as possible, so for example we throw away your credentials as soon as we have authenticated you so you're just a random John Doe like all the others connected to the OpenVPN server. We also mix traffic across all IPs within a region (that's why the exit IP is different than the entry IP) so that the pool of possible people is as large as possible.
  • Worth noting, bitcoin is not anonymous if it's not bought and used anonymously as well (almost impossible to do). If you truly care about your privacy to the extent of wanting anonymous payments, use something where even access to the blockchain does not reveal who is sending what to whom, like Monero. Good luck and stay private!
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