ExpressVPN is now owned by Kape Technologies, a UK-based cybersecurity company with an odd history in the adtech business. News of the $936 million deal may make some people uncomfortable, but ExpressVPN assures that Kape is free from its past and shows a “clear commitment to protecting the privacy of users.”
Kape Technologies is a newcomer to the cybersecurity world. The company was founded in 2011 under the name Crossrider, and was identified as a “major affiliate of ad injectors” in a joint study by UC Berkley and Google.
As reported by The Register, Crossrider used to develop browser extensions and other software to serve pop-up ads. It was even responsible for the Superfish malware in 2015 and was identified as a virus-serving firm by Malwarebytes.
In 2018, Crossrider changed its name to Kape Technologies in an effort to distance itself from adtech. The company’s CEO promised to never dabble in ad-tracking and made a pivot to cybersecurity, buying up VPN services like ZenMate and Private Internet Access.
Still, Kape Technologies’ history in ad-tracking is a bit concerning. Even if a VPN service promises not to collect customers’ data, there’s nothing to guarantee that claim. Kape may need to hire independent auditors to assure existing ExpressVPN customers that nothing has changed behind the scenes.
I should reiterate that ExpressVPN is not concerned by Kape’s history and lauds the company’s commitment to privacy. Also, ExpressVPN will continue to run independently from other Kape-owned services. Customers may not even notice that ExpressVPN has a new owner.
Existing ExpressVPN users shouldn’t panic. ExpressVPN is still a fantastic service—it’s one of the best VPN platforms available today. If you’re concerned about the new owners, I suggest following the ExpressVPN tag on social media to keep an eye out for any strange news. You could also switch to another great VPN service, though you may lose some cool features in doing so.