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Photo: II.studio (Shutterstock) The popular VPN service ExpressVPN recently sold to Kape Technologies, a company with a shady past some users are worried undermines the VPN’s privacy. Kape positions itself as a cybersecurity and digital privacy firm, but the company was previously known as Crossrider, and was notorious for creating and distributing data-tracking adware . Kape was co-founded by a billionaire convicted of insider trading, and an ex-Israeli surveillance agent. Along with the issues raised over ExpressVPN’s new parent company, it was also recently discovered that ExpressVPN’s CIO, Daniel Gericke, faces illegal hacking charges for aiding the UAE with cyberattacks against other governments. This raises concerns over ExpressVPN’s safety as a product—but ExpressVPN isn’t the only VPN under scrutiny. Kape also owns three other VPN companies—Cyberghost, Private Internet Access (PIA), and ZenMate—in addition to ExpressVPN. All four Kape-owned VPN services operate as separate companies, and while there’s no evidence these companies are mishandling your data or engaging in suspicious activity, there are also reasons to avoid them if you’re serious about privacy. Privacy and malware concerns First, let’s talk about privacy. Prior to its acquisition, ExpressVPN was a privately owned company based in the British Virgin Islands, which is more privacy-friendly than other countries and therefore a more desirable jurisdiction for a VPN company. While the company still operates primarily out of the British Virgin Islands, Kape, its parent company, is based in the UK. On the one hand, the UK has privacy-friendly GDPR laws, but it’s also part […]