What preventative steps can people take to guard against identity theft? That’s exactly the question AllClear ID is aiming to answer with its new mobile app for iOS devices launching today. The app provides for mobile users what AllClear ID also offers via the web: free protection and guidance for consumers worried about potential idenitty theft, and an option to upgrade to a paid account for access to additional features. The app release is the next step in AllClear ID’s increasing drive to appeal to individual customers directly.
AllClear ID officially changed its name from Debix earlier this month, a move the company explained resulted from the positive reception to its consumer-facing privacy product, also called AllClear ID, which debuted last year. AllClear ID partnered with Sony last year to offer those affected by Sony’s massive PlayStation Network breach with free access to its paid premium service, which brought it a lot of visibility. As Debix, the company had focused primarily on serving business customers; the Sony experience was clearly an eye-opener for the company, and the introduction of the iPhone app is the next step in selling its services on the consumer side as well.
“We’ve been in the identity protetion business since 2004, largely serving large corporations when they have data breaches; they hire us to protect their customers,” AllClear ID CEO Bo Holland told BetaKit in an interview. “We’re now delivering our first real consumer-facing app.” Holland said the app addresses two gaps in the consumer identity protection space, by providing consumers with instant alerts when their sensitive information and accounts have been compromised, and also by showing them how they can protect against those kinds of attacks for free.
The app is free, and most of the services it provides are free, including fraud detection and alerts, as well as credit card and social security monitoring services. AllClear ID Mobile also provides some basic gamification elements by rewarding users for sharing the info contained in the app. The idea, Holland explained, is to highlight the issues facing consumers in terms of privacy by helping users leverage their own networks. “Ultimately, the thing that’s really important is to be able to start raising consumer awareness about these problems and providing them some protection,” Holland said.
The AllClear ID app focuses on driving users to free sources of information and protection resources, including providing links to free credit reports, which Holland says a lot of users don’t realize are now required to be available by law in the U.S. But the app does have features that only unlock for Pro users, who pay $14.95 per month, so it’s also offering upgrade incentives to unpaid users. The app will initially only be available for U.S. users, but Holland says expansion to international markets should actually be fairly simple, and doesn’t think such expansion will be too far off.
In addition to helping AllClear ID broaden its appeal as a consumer-oriented solution, the app should also help raise its profile among businesses, too. The Sony example proved that services like the ones AllClear ID offer can help in cases where data breaches leave brands vulnerable to negative backlash. Providing services to mobile users for free via a native app should help raise its profile and general level of trust among consumers so that businesses continue to come calling when they run into issues with ID theft.