3 minute read

How Does Covenant Eyes Protect My Privacy?

Last Updated: June 17, 2021

Chris McKenna

Chris McKenna is a guy with never-ending energy when it comes to fighting for the safety and protection of children. He is the founder of Protect Young Eyes, a leading digital safety organization. Chris practices his internet safety tips on his four amazing children and is regularly featured on news, radio, podcasts, and most recently on Capitol Hill for his research. His 2019 US Senate Judiciary Committee testimony was the catalyst for draft legislation that could radically change online child protection laws. With expertise in social media usage, parental controls, and pornography use in young people, Chris is highly sought after as a speaker at schools and churches. Since 2016, Chris has worked with Covenant Eyes creating educational resources to help individuals and families overcome porn. Other loves include running, spreadsheets, and candy.

Privacy is under attack. Recent stories about large technology organizations who have compromised our personal, private information have made all of us more careful about what we share.

Employees at Covenant Eyes see these stories too.

Now, let’s be honest. The entire premise behind accountability is to give up some of our privacy by allowing someone we know and trust insight into how we use technology.

When we know someone else sees where we click and what we view, it often compels us to use our devices with integrity. That’s the beauty of accountability. Ron DeHaas, Covenant Eyes co-founder and CEO, says it this way: “Accountability sucks the life out of temptation.”

But there’s a lot of personal information that’s not relevant to our journey toward a porn-free life, and we don’t want others to have access to that data.

Covenant Eyes has always guarded our members’ information very carefully. And now that we’ve launched Screen Accountability, we’re doing even more to protect our members’ personal, private information. Here’s how we guard your private information.

How Screen Accountability Works

Most people come to Covenant Eyes because they want to stop looking at porn or never start. This could be a personal desire, or as a parent or spouse who wants this for someone they love.

Our mission has always been to provide software that achieves the goals of quitting porn or not starting porn better than anyone.

So, for over two years, we’ve been training an image-recognition algorithm to recognize pornographic images. This advanced artificial intelligence makes decisions about the probability of pornography being present on the screen. The result of this work is what we call Screen Accountability, and here’s how it works:

  1. We regularly capture screenshots on your devices.
  2. We use advanced artificial intelligence to detect sexual images.
  3. The software shrinks the image, blurs it, and sends it to our servers in its blurred state using HTTPS and stored using a 256-bit AES key.
  4. Blurred screenshots that may be concerning are included at the top of  a brand-new report, sent to a partner of your choosing. In addition to concerning “Screenshots to Review,” we will provide a random sampling of “Other Screenshots” for context.
  5. An optional blocking service blocks known pornography, and locks down SafeSearch on major search engines.

How Screen Accountability Protects Your Privacy

It’s worth digging a little deeper into a few of the steps above.

Covenant Eyes is never in possession of your unblurred images. Never.

Unblurred screenshots never leave your device. Our Screen Accountability software applies irreversible changes to each image before it ever leaves the device.

Once the image has been blurred, it’s not possible to “unblur” it.

Our proprietary process applies digital noise, pixelation, blur, and then reduces the image, before sending it over HTTPS. This ensures that your screenshots can’t be un-blurred (we’ve tried!), protecting your personal and sensitive information like financial records and medical data.

Some members have raised concerns about Covenant Eyes having servers full of screenshots and that even the most secure organization is vulnerable to attacks that might compromise our data.

To further prove this point, these screenshots are from a personal bank statement and a password vault from one of our managers on the Screen Accountability team.

Privacy and Screen Accountability

Frequently Asked Questions About Privacy

What about my personal, private photos that I might send to my spouse? I don’t want my ally/partner to see those.

By using Covenant Eyes, you’re asking us to help identify pornography on electronic devices and notify a trusted friend. If you and your spouse send provocative images to each other, we suggest you select your spouse as your one and only accountability partner.

I work in the medical field and have concerns about HIPAA compliance. How is Covenant Eyes addressing this concern?

Yes, some members have raised concerns about HIPAA, FERPA, and other laws that protect privacy. We have shared actual screen shots from our reports above and in our support articles so that you can determine whether or not our blurring techniques are compliant with laws and regulations in your country.

Note: Our development team is working on a few new features that could address this concern more directly. We’ll let our members know more about these features as we test them.

Your Privacy Concerns Are Our Privacy Concerns

Screen Accountability is the purest and most powerful form of online accountability available.

If you have any other privacy questions, don’t hesitate to call and ask (989-720-8000) or send us a message via chat on the website. Our amazing Customer Service Team is ready to help you and those you love use technology well.

Why wait another day to protect yourself and those you love on your devices? Get started with Covenant Eyes today.

  • Comments on: How Does Covenant Eyes Protect My Privacy?
    1. Allen on

      Is there any change to the VPN?

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Allen!

        I am not sure what change you would be referring to, so I would highly recommend you give our amazing Customer Service Team a call!

        Toll-free in the US: 877.479.1119
        Outside the U.S.: 989.720.8000

        Have a great day!
        Moriah

    2. Wayne Smith on

      Does Screen accountability monitor DVDs played on your computer

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Wayne,

        Great questions! Yes – Screen Accountability monitors the screen as a whole. So, DVDs being played on a computer can become screenshots.

        Hope this helps!
        Moriah

    3. Rob Jacobs on

      Is there something for gaming consoles that I could install

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Rob,

        As of right now we don’t have coverage for gaming consoles. I would encourage you to check out this article for other ways to protect yourself while playing video games!

        Hope this helps…
        Blessings,
        Moriah

    4. Ron on

      How frequent are the intervals of screenshots? Do I have access to the screenshots? Will I notice when a screenshot is captured? Will the VPN feature go away?

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Ron,

        Great questions!

        The screenshots are taken randomly. There is no specific interval or frequency. You will have access to the screenshots that appear in your report, and you will not notice when a screenshot is captured.

        In regards to the VPN, there is none with Screen Accountability. However, there is a VPN if you are using filtering with SA.
        Hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.
        Moriah

    5. Philip Gaudoin on

      “Now, let’s be honest. The entire premise behind accountability is to give up some of our privacy by allowing someone we know and trust insight into how we use technology.”

      This is patronising. Translation: “Let’s talk about technology companies invading privacy… and then do exactly the same thing ourselves.”

      Disappointing, Covenant Eyes.

      Feels like you are forcing customers down a route which some, at least, will not want to go for legitimate reasons.

      You should offer the choice. Clearly. Instead, it feels like you imposing on us so you don’t have to support a ‘legacy’ product.

      Reply
      • Keith on

        I agree with you Philip if the screen shot gives up potential identity information to hackers in any way. I am not a supporter of forcing customers to choose this but I will wait to evaluate whether it is a privacy concern. Example, can a hacker determine my financial institution from the screenshot? Can they determine my investment company?

        I imagine this product is to address people having the product and find away around being discovered. If the page information (i.e. Company logo is unreadable) then it will a good product.

        Keith

    6. Chris on

      Where are the screenshots that don’t get pinged as potentially inappropriate stored? Are they backed up somewhere as well?

      Reply
      • Moriah Bowman on

        Hi Chris,

        I believe your questions can be answered in this post.

        If you have any further questions, let me know!
        Blessings,
        Moriah

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