Job van Dijk: „We are surprised how companies steal consumer’s data“

Foto: istock

The navigation app „Magic Earth“ is offered free of charge, can be used offline and does not contain any trackers. „We want our software to make people smile because of its simplicity and perfect execution – while it respects their privacy“ says Job van Dijk of General Magic, the company behind the service.

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[Zur deutschen Version des Interviews geht es hier.]

What are the advantages of Magic Earth compared to Google Maps?

We do not compromise the privacy of the end-user in any way. We do not make use of user data to create a map that is then commercialised. We also offer the possibility to download maps with full functionality both online and offline. So users can navigate without being dependent on an internet connection.

Which map material is Magic Earth based on?

Magic Earth is based on maps of the project OpenStreetMap, which is not owned by anyone, but rather built by everyone. Every person and every company can use it and help to improve it. We make Magic Earth available for free to enrich people’s lives without compromising their privacy. With the free Magic Earth app we showcase our technical capabilities to business customers.

How is Magic Earth financed?

Our company, General Magic, creates the Magic Earth app. We are a relatively small team around 50 persons that work in the Netherlands, Switzerland and Romania. We are financed by selling parts of our software to business to business customers, for example in the form of Software Development Kits. Those business to business customers include our software components in their own products.

What drives your team of developers?

We have an apparent and straightforward goal: to be the best maps and navigation app. We want to make excellent software that makes people smile because of its simplicity and perfect execution – while it respects their privacy.

Privacy friendly tools as Magic Earth are still an exception to the rule. Do you think change is coming?

We are surprised how companies steal consumer’s data without them knowing about it over and over again. Many consumers behave quite naive in regards to their private data. In recent years with all the news coming out in regards to privacy and security breaches, this has luckily become more visible to the general public.

Magic Earth is available for Android and iOS. More information: generalmagic.com

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